Haas unveil extreme cost-saving measure
Haas has unveiled its latest extreme cost-saving measure in a bid to beat F1’s budget cap.
All 10 Formula 1 teams have had another US$5million ($7.36m; £4.16m) shaved off the cap figure for this year which now runs at US£135m ($198m; £112m).
In a sport where every cent counts, Haas has trimmed its ‘prat perch’ – where senior team personnel sit to oversee a grand prix weekend – to three seats from the usual six.
Team principal Guenther Steiner has revealed the cost saving is a remarkable US$300,000 ($440,000; £250,000)
“When you need money to invest in development, look at everything, because we are at the cost cap,” said Steiner.
“You have six people out there, or a quarter of a million on car updates? I know what we’re doing.
“The guys came up with that idea. They said ‘If I need to stay inside I have no problem doing that if I have no need to be there’.
“With three seats we can cover what we need to and we can rearrange.
“It’s mainly a saving to put that money into development because we are at the cost cap or a quarter million on transport costs.”
The exclusive company on the pit wall incorporates Steiner, director of engineering Ayao Komatsu, and team manager Peter Crolla.
Haas hit with hard-to-locate problem
The trio oversaw a productive first of the three days of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Kevin Magnussen completed 57 laps and new team-mate Nico Hülkenberg 51, with the Dane the slowest of the 19 drivers who set a time with a lap of one minute 35.087secs, 2.250s adrift of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Haas did lose some running in the morning and afternoon sessions with both drivers due to a throttle issue.
Attempting to locate the problem proved time-consuming, notably as the floor had to be removed from the VF-23.
“It wasn’t easy because you have to take everything off to get to it and then fix it,” said Steiner. “We’ve changed the whole system.
“We didn’t lose a lot of time, an hour or two – one run with tyres.”