Haas F1 team switched focus to 2017 car before making debut

The Haas Formula 1 team moved its main focus to its 2017 car before it had even made its grand prix debut, followed by a full switch in May

Haas F1 team switched focus to 2017 car before making debut

With technical regulations changing dramatically next year, most F1 teams switched their development focus earlier than usual, with newcomer Haas one of the first to do so.

Haas reveals Formula 1's biggest problem

Teams are restricted to 65 windtunnel runs each week and Autosport understands Haas stopped allocating all of its runs in Ferrari's windtunnel to its 2016 car just before the season opener in Australia in March.

Over the next two months, only a handful of runs were used for its maiden VF-16, with the bulk of time spent on the 2017 challenger, before a full switch in May.

The Haas team's performance has faded after a strong start, scoring points in three of the first four races with Romain Grosjean but only twice more in the next 16.

"Our performance dropped this year because we didn't run the 2016 car much in the windtunnel this season," said Grosjean.

"That means that we have to run another car in the windtunnel, and that's to prepare for the future.

"When I joined the team, we wanted to be better in year two and better in year three, and that's still the plan.

"We've got a lot of work, but people have seen we're serious, we're focused, we're paying the bills and we are on the racetrack and not doing too bad.

"We've got more and more people joining, the team is growing and I think we can do better next year than we have this year."

Grosjean believes Haas needs to work on processing data quicker to allow it to improve the speed in which it responds to problems.

"It took some time to get the data quality," he said.

"As the first year, you discover weak points, where the quality of the parts needs to improve, the quality of the data needs to be improved, the reactions needs to be improved and so on.

"That's all that you learn through a year. There are 21 races, we race every week-and-a-half, there's just not time to react.

"We have a lot of Ferrari parts on the car but we have to put them in a Haas package.

"All of that takes time but these are things we need to improve.

"We cannot realise on Saturday evening that between FP1 and FP2, something happened in the car.

"We need to realise either in FP2 or just after FP2 but all of these things we are putting in place."

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