Haas F1 Team has a certain goal to cross the 100-point barrier in the 2018 Formula 1 season, but reveals developments has started on its 2019 car.
The American outfit crossed 50 points for the first time in its short F1 career this year as it sits fifth with 66 in its kitty while in the fight for fourth against Renault (82), Force India (59) and McLaren (52).
With nine races to go, team principal Guenther Steiner has a certain aim for the outfit to cross the 100-point barrier for the first time, which will be a significant achievement for the small team in only its third year.
“We need to gain the points which we lost in the first half of the season,” he said. “That’s our mission – to have the best results at the end of the season. I think the 100-point barrier should be and will be broken, but still you have to get them.
“If you want to finish fourth or fifth, you have to break it.” Haas took a big step this year and is consistently the fourth best car during race weekends. However, mistakes have let it down, otherwise they would have been in a strong position points wise.
Steiner credited last year’s switch to the 2018 car for the progress made this season. It will be a similar approach for the American team for 2019 as well as the Italian revealed about the focus switch to 2019 development a few weeks ago.
Even though a larger portion of the hand is on 2019, the updates will come in 2018 as well but it will not be hugely significant. “We started the 2019 car a few weeks ago and there’s no point in developing the 2018 car any longer,” he said.
“Because if you do continue development, by the time you manufacture the parts, it’s near the end of the season. The gains are too small to use the parts in only two or three races. We do have a few more parts coming, but that’s it for the development of the 2018 car.
“We will bring a few more to the next races. They will not be big updates, but we will keep bringing them like everybody else. We’ve learned to produce upgrades, bring them to the car, and have them working.
“This is a step that we have achieved in 2018 that we did not have in 2017,” adding that the 2019 changes brought by the FIA hasn’t changed their plans for developments. The only change they had to resort to was starting a week or two earlier than planned.
Meanwhile, Steiner remains confident that Haas can continue with its fine form in the remainder of the 2018 after the summer break, when they have a big decision to make on their driver line-up.
While Kevin Magnussen revealed that the team has an option on him for 2019, Romain Grosjean’s future hangs on the balance for now. The seats in Haas becomes all the more enticing now, considering the mayhem created by some other moves.