It was an impressive debut for Haas in 2016, but there is still work to do for the American team, with them not wanting to fall into the trap of ‘the difficult second year’.
There have been few which have been able to do what Haas has done in Formula One over the last few years, coming into the sport completely from scratch as a brand new team. There were the ‘new’ teams of 2010, but Virgin Racing, HRT, Team Lotus and USF1 all came in to start with believing there would be a budget cap.
The success of the Haas model, by using as many outsourced parts as possible was a logical move for a small independent team. With a car built by Dallara and rear end of the car supplied by Ferrari, it was a match which meant points in the first race were possible.
It soured slightly though with brake problems throughout the year meant they were not able to push to their full potential, and didn’t live up to their initial promise in Melbourne and Bahrain.
Romain Grosjean returns for a second season with the American team, after leaving the Renault/Lotus issues behind him. The impressive debut in Melbourne gave way to frustration later in the season, and braking issues have not been resolved with the new car yet either.
Kevin Magnussen also makes the jump from Renault, a year after he was considered for the seat with the team anyway. The pairing is one which punches above its weight in the midfield with two experienced drivers pushing the team forward.
The Dane, like Nico Hulkenberg has never found himself to be in the right place at the right time. Parachuted into McLaren after Lewis Hamilton came at the same time the team lost their form, while a drive was only secured at Renault following the lack of finances from Pastor Maldonado.
Time will see what happens this year, but as always following what was on the outside an impressive first season, is to maintain and if not improve their performance. They have the right drivers for the job, now they have to prove the model works.