Haas (almost) better than ever, Andretti is preparing for 2024: the offensive of American teams in F1

Haas runs home this weekend and continues to fly for the most unlikely success. On Wednesday, during the promotional evening at the Hard Rock Stadium that brought together the 20 drivers (except Fernando Alonso) of the 2022 World Cup in front of thousands of fans, his team director, Günther Steiner, received more applause on stage than his own pilots. , Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher. Simply because the “Drive To Survive” series made him the third most popular leader in Formula 1, after Toto Wolff (Mercedes) and Christian Horner (Red Bull). Without winning anything but attracting public sympathy for his frankness and his swearing-in skirts in an environment that some considered sanitized.

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In Season 1, 2019, Nextlix filmed him discreetly calling Gene Haas, the owner of the American team, to tell him that his team of mechanics had caused the retired Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, therefore fifth and sixth, forgetting to close a wheel of his cars during a pit stop. “Let’s go through straws”, he summed up. The Tyrolean-accented Italian had become a central figure in the new Formula 1 soap opera by managing the rest of the season with his rebellious and disappointing drivers. On Sunday, during the first parade of team leaders, there is no doubt that he still has to be cheered.

Schumacher has to double Haas’ score

“So what can I do? If they had better results, they would be more applauded than me.”, he sighed. Unstoppable, peremptory, Günther Steiner knows full well that Kevin Magnussen has exceeded all expectations this season by accumulating 15 points in four races plus a “sprint” race. But its role is to want more, and to make both the Danish and the German understand that it is the VF22 that is superior. We know the reason: a project study carried out at the Ferrari facilities by Scuderia staff, and the maximum pooling of parts with the red machine.

Haas, however, did better in his second year in the major leagues, in 2016, with 22 points accumulated by Romain Grosjean in four races. Interestingly, this year 2022 takes Gene Haas’ team back six years, with a leader and a second driver without points, who are desperately slow to prove their worth. He must be mistaken, it is as if Esteban Gutiérrez had reincarnated into Mick Schumacher and Günther Steiner insists on this capital that today could easily be duplicated. “Kevin has scored in all but one race, so I think Mick will get there.”he asked, in statements to The Race.

However, the situation is not the same as in 2016, when Haas was unable to keep up with the pace of development – that is, spending – of other teams, adding only seven additional points the rest of the season.

This year, the American boss has every interest in investing to develop a well-born car, in a favorable context like never before. The equipment budget is already limited and Ferrari has reservations at all levels. And this weekend, the Haas are getting a new, more powerful V6 thanks to changes in the combustion chamber that Ferrari passed through the International Automobile Federation under the pretext of improved reliability …

Andretti, an expanding company

Where Haas has the most to gain is to conquer his own audience. After falling to a low point last year, the team officially based in Kannapolis, more specifically in Banbury and Maranello, has the opportunity to become a kind of national team that would give it a great impulse. This is, in fact, Gene Haas’ ambition when Günther Steiner states: “We are an absolutely American team. We have an American license. There are not many more American companies than Haas Automation (the founding machine tool company of the boss) and Gene Haas.”

Everyone knows Haas anyway: there is a place to occupy, 2022 is an extraordinary opportunity and time is running out. Because Andretti Autosport has clearly and clearly proclaimed its ambition to land at the 2024 World Championships, with resources such as those that have rarely had an independent team. Former driver Michael Andretti, son of world champion Mario Andretti, is set to reproduce the Haas model, in collaboration with McLaren for the chassis part, and Renault for the engine part. He even offered to buy Gene Haas his stable to speed up his arrival in the queen category. The more he ran into Sauber’s refusal. Michael Andretti, known in Formula One for having been Ayrton Senna’s teammate at McLaren in 1993, should soon be spreading his business plan to get to Formula 1 through the front door, he hopes. Even if that means paying $ 200 million in entrance fees to the ten teams that are already in place.

And for the rest, Michael Andretti has clear ideas and long teeth, as evidenced by his total commitments to Indycar, Indy Lights, Formula E, Extreme E. His father Mario, the 1978 Formula 1 world champion, says that the Andretti factory will be located in England and that the team will have variations on Formula 2 and Formula 3 to create a pyramid of talent. And unlike Haas, Andretti feels the need to have a local driver, who could be Indycar prospect Colton Herta, engaged in a training process with Zak Brown’s friendly McLaren team. Haas is there and Andretti is about to arrive to create an emulation that can only be beneficial to both teams. Who then will have seen how the influence of the United States extends to the Las Vegas Grand Prix in 2023.

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