Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner has admitted the late first fire-up of their 2021 challenger was not the situation the team would have wanted. Haas cars and their Ferrari power units will not be united until the start of pre-season testing next month in Bahrain, due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
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Steiner, formerly Technical Operations Director at Red Bull Racing, assembled the Haas F1 Team with owner Gene Haas and established their partnerships, including with race car designers and component manufacturers Dallara, plus the engine and gearbox supplier Ferrari, both based in Italy. The Haas team itself has a facility in Banbury, in the UK.
"We're building the car in the UK this year. There are a lot of carryover parts from last year, so it's the best way to get it all together," Steiner explained, as per Motorsport.com. The Haas F1 principal went on to explain, "There are more parts at the moment in the UK than Italy, so we would have had to take everything to Italy to build it. That didn't make sense."
Haas F1 unable to test key systems
Due to tight quarantine restrictions between European countries, Ferrari engineers will be unable to travel to the Haas base in Banbury to test the key systems on the car.
"The fire-up will be in Bahrain," Guenther Steiner admitted. In typically optimistic fashion, he declared, "I think we will be all right. As long as it sounds good when we fire it up the first time, it's not a problem!"
Formula 1 teams will get their first opportunity to run their 2021 cars in Bahrain in the pre-season test. Haas F1 Team will be desperate to score more points than their meager tally of three in 2020. With new drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin replacing the outgoing duo of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, hopes are high for the future, provided the team has a successful test in Bahrain.