The $250,000 saving behind Haas F1 team's mini prat perch

The Haas Formula 1 team will save $250,000 in freight costs in 2023 by halving the size of its pitwall stand, commonly known as a 'prat perch'.

Haas F1 Team pit wall gantry

Team principal Gunther Steiner says that the money has been fed straight into the development budget for the VF-23.

The team’s push for cost savings reflects the fact that Moneygram title sponsorship and an eighth-place finish in the 2022 world championship has given it the funds with which to push up to the cost cap for the first time.

Haas used to travel worldwide with a two-part pit stand that featured six seats, although often only four were actually used, with one reserved for team owner Gene Haas.

This year the team is carrying only one three-piece section to races with seats for team principal Steiner, team manager Peter Crolla and director of engineering Ayao Komatsu. The chief strategist has now moved to the garage.

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“When you need to make efficiency, you look in everything,” said Steiner when asked by Autosport about the change. “When you need money to invest in development, because we have the cost cap, where do you put it?

“You have six people out there, or a quarter of a million on car updates? I know what we are doing. And the guys came up with that idea, I said if I need to stay inside, I have no problems as well. I don't need to be there.

“They said with three seats we can cover what we need to cover, and we rearrange. But it's mainly a saving to put that money into development because we are at the cost cap."

The new Haas F1 pit wall gantry

The new Haas F1 pit wall gantry

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Steiner says the team has a clearer development path than in past seasons.

“We started already with the upgrades,” he confirmed. “When you have a plan in place, like this year, we are a lot better prepared. So we have got a plan in place and hopefully we get some upgrades soon. If they show results in the wind tunnel, for sure we'll make them and bring them to the racetrack.

“I'm not for saying we just put the package on, if the package doesn't bring anything, you spend money and do nothing. So we put timelines in and see what we can develop.

“And that is what we make, being a full package, being it just a little fairing, being it a front wing, whatever comes we have got quite a good budget now to do upgrades, and we adjust it while we go along, and while we find performance in the wind tunnel.

“And we're not defining how we want a new bodywork at all costs for Barcelona, we go and develop a new bodywork and doesn't give any advantage. Why would we produce it? So we just try to manage it like this.”

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