Formula 1: Alonso unsurprised by pace of 'Ferrari replica' Haas

Fernando Alonso says the Haas Formula 1 team's strong Australian Grand Prix practice form is not a surprise because it is running a "Ferrari replica" from 2017

Formula 1: Alonso unsurprised by pace of 'Ferrari replica' Haas

Romain Grosjean ended Friday running in Melbourne sixth-fastest, half a second clear of a close midfield fight headed by Alonso's McLaren in eighth.

Haas has enjoyed a technical partnership with Ferrari since it entered F1, after rules regarding which components teams must design themselves were relaxed.

Team boss Gunther Steiner admitted "we use a lot of Ferrari equipment, so we're using them as our baseline", and asked if he was surprised by Haas in Australia Alonso said: "No, not really. They have obviously a Ferrari replica of last year and Ferrari were winning here [in 2017]."

He added: "Haas appears to be very fast and maybe is right behind the top three teams and it will be hard to beat, especially in the first race and the first part of the season.

"But we'll try to be close and to take advantage of every chance we get."

Carlos Sainz Jr, who lapped only a tenth slower than Alonso in the midfield battle, said Renault was not surprised to see Haas perform so well either.

"They've been quick during pre-season testing and we kept an eye on them because they were really, really fast," Sainz said.

"Unfortunately they look to be half a step in front of the rest of the midfield, but hopefully we can recover soon."

Grosjean's 1m24.648s in FP2 left him closer to the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel than the midfielders behind him.

He also outpaced Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, whose best lap was spoiled by a red flag.

Vettel said it was "a bit too early to tell" if he was surprised by Haas.

"Haas left with a strong impression from Barcelona, at least today for one lap they seemed reasonable. I didn't see much else," he said.

"I think we'll have to wait to really confirm. Melbourne is a tricky track, if you don't feel 100% there's quite a bit of time in that, which then all of a sudden comes if you feel confident.

"Therefore I wouldn't rule out McLaren as well. They haven't done much in testing so it's difficult to judge where they will be.

"If it's close then it's good for everyone, because you're always sort of in range and you can do something."

Ricciardo was more convinced that Haas was giving a real indicator of its performance.

"In testing they had a few people talking," he said.

"Everyone knows Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes are fast, it is always who is the next team.

"It seemed to be Haas [in testing] and today Grosjean was pretty quick, so seems they are matching the times they did last month."

shares
comments
Sebastian Vettel not comfortable with Ferrari in Melbourne practice
Previous article

Sebastian Vettel not comfortable with Ferrari in Melbourne practice

Next article

Daniel Ricciardo gets Australian Grand Prix grid penalty

Daniel Ricciardo gets Australian Grand Prix grid penalty
How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Plus

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Plus

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Plus

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022