To take his flourishing automotive parts business to greater heights, Gene Haas has set up an F1 team for the 2016 season and beyond. Will he be able to replicate his NASCAR success in the pinnacle of motorsport? Matthew Gannon tries to find the answer.
Constructors Championship - 10th.
Despite purchasing most of the car from Ferrari, Haas is not a Ferrari B-Team. The well-funded organisation should score points in its debut season and could well have the pace to challenge the midfield. It will be a competitive midfield group this season with nobody being discounted, this is where the line ups come in. Grosjean and Gutierrez will need to keep it on track and most importantly in one piece if they are to unlock the true potential of the Haas in 2016.
Esteban Gutierrez - 21st.
Two underwhelming season at Sauber before a year on the sidelines at Ferrari: this is hardly the credentials of a top class driver yet to be discovered. Despite this, Esteban is the second driver of Haas this season, a decision I believe they shall regret. Not one sole points finish in 2014 and only seeing the top 10 once in 2013 have left Gutierrez with a lot to prove and this year really could be make or break for the Mexican.
Romain Grosjean - 16th.
Grosjean was Vettel's closest challenger in late-2013 and since his rehabilitation after 2012, he has been a consistent podium scorer when he's had the machinery to do so. That may be a bridge too far for this year with Haas never running an F1 car before. Despite this expect Grosjean to use all his past experience and undeniable talent to pilot the American team to some very useful points in their battle in the midfield. Much of the questions will be on development and whether they stand the test of time over the 21 races on the calendar and if they do then Grosjean's tally could be quite significant come the close of play at Abu Dhabi.
Haas have had the least running of all teams in pre-season. This is due to testing being cut short by technical issues such as Grosjean's front wing failure. The Frenchman outpaced his Mexican team mate as they rounded out 21st and 22nd on aggregate over the test. While pre-season has shown little for the American outfit, the true test shall be 17:00 local time on the 20th March 2016. Lights Out. Australia.
by Matthew Gannon