Haas F1 management quotes ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix

Haas F1 management quotes ahead of Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix

20.11.2016: Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix 2016 Yas Marina Circuit Circuit Length: 5.554 km (3.451 miles)

Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix 2016
Yas Marina Circuit
 Circuit Length: 5.554 km (3.451 miles)
Laps: 55
Race Distance: 305.355 km (189.739 miles)
Broadcast: NBCSN - 7:30 a.m. ET (Pre-Race Show) / 8 a.m. ET (Lights Out)





GUENTHER STEINER, Team Principal




Abu Dhabi is the season finale, and it’s also the finale of Haas F1 Team’s debut season. What’s it been like to build a team from scratch and how satisfying has it been to be a part of the team’s success?




“We’ve been building up this team for more than two years – almost three years – so it has been a very exciting and a very challenging mission. I call this year our first season because we showed what we can do, but we worked on it for three years.



It has gone so quickly that it’s been incredible. To have the opportunity to start an F1 team – how many people can do that? So for me on a personal level, it was really something. If you’re a kid, you dream of things like this, and we got it done.



It wasn’t me on my own. It was a lot of people working with me. How you define success is very difficult, but getting here has been fantastic.”
 




The way Haas F1 Team is set up is unorthodox, at least by Formula One standards. Does the team’s success validate Haas F1 Team’s approach?



“Thanks to Gene Haas, who had the belief in the idea that we would have to do it differently because more of the same would not work. Gene’s wish was to find a different way. We did and it worked out. I think we surprised a lot of people and I think a lot of people admit it, and I think we are perceived now as one of the 11 F1 teams.



Few would think that we are only in our first season, which is more than a compliment and that is what we want to be. We want to be respectable for our own sake and for the sake of F1. I think people look at us now and say they are part of the show.”   
 




Is there a particular moment from this season that stands out the most for you?


“There are two moments that stand out – going out in Barcelona for the first time with a new team during testing and then going to our first race and scoring points. It was like, ‘Wow, did we do this?’



 We’ve had our ups and downs, and we will have more of them, but there have been a few moments that all the team members will remember for the rest of their lives.”
 




Has the season gone by quickly?



“Every moment is intense. It’s deadline after deadline, challenge after challenge. You just keep on going and you forget that time is going by.”
 




You’ll end the season eighth in the constructor standings. If someone said at the beginning of the year that eighth is where Haas F1 Team would end up, would you have believed them?


“For sure if you wish something you believe in it, but would I have signed up for eighth? Absolutely. That is what we were going for and we had a good feeling we could achieve it, but nothing is for certain in F1.



You need to go out and compete and it seemed to be that eighth was very secure after the first three or four races, but then in the middle of the season somebody could have done a better job than us because we lacked a little in performance. So yes, eighth is what we deserve.”
 




Was there any way to know how Haas F1 Team would stack up with the other, more established Formula One teams?



“It was an unknown for everyone, but we knew more than the other ones because, obviously, we did the car and we knew what was in it. It’s still a sport and a very competitive sport at that, so people make progress. We progressed this season, but so did everyone else.”
 




This is the 21st and final race of the longest Formula One season in history. Has the length of the schedule impacted the team in any way? Can the schedule grow, does it need to contract, or is 21 races the limit?


“We didn’t know anything better, but it still impacts us. Everybody’s tired. Everybody’s worn out. You can see it at the end of the season. People are just tired. They have been away a lot of days. It’s tiring, but what can you do?



 If you go over 21 races, I think we should look into maybe having a shorter weekend or making it simpler to get to the races or we need to be cleverer logistically. Otherwise, we run out of days in the year to do races.”
 




How helpful is your experience from this year as the team builds and develops another new car for next year?



“It definitely helps. You always learn and, for sure, the first year you should learn most of it, but it does not mean we cannot make mistakes next year. But I think we are as prepared as we can be at the moment.



It will still be a tough second year for us, so everyone needs to be aware of that. We’ve done a lot of things this year that has prepared us for next year, the most important being having our own data. It will help us, obviously, but we’ll still always be five years behind the second newest team. That will not change. The only thing we cannot make up or buy is time.”
 





What did you learn from this year’s car build that you’re applying to the 2017 car build?


“We will apply all the lessons we learned this year, and our relationships with Ferrari and Dallara are better because we all know a lot more than we did a year ago. We should be better, but I’m sure there will still be a few déjà vu moments where we had problems last year, we will have problems again this year.



But the biggest unknown is how good are the other people? How good is their car next year? We could have a very efficient and better car build, but then the car performance could be down because we don’t know where other people are with their development.”
 




The Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace. What makes it stand out on the Formula One schedule?



“They did a great job. They made a huge investment to make it a showplace. Everything is there that you would want to have there. There is nothing missing. It’s just state of the art. It’s a fantastic place to go to for the season finale.”
 




With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool?



“It cools down and, hopefully, that helps us with tire management because we are more competitive when it cools down. Our car seems to prefer a cooler ambient temperature, and like we saw in Brazil, when it got colder, we could get the tires to work in that window. I think it is getting cool enough that we get them in the window in Abu Dhabi.”
 




As you head into the off-season, how much “off” is there, or is that just a misnomer because preseason testing tends to arrive quickly?


“There is no real offseason. The only off time is between Christmas and New Year’s. Everybody seems to be in a ceasefire in that period. Nobody’s going to attack, basically. So, you can chill out a little bit.”
 
 


- Mike Arning - photo Haas F1

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/haas-f1-management-quotes-abu-dhabi-gp---158082.html

20.11.2016 / MaP

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