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Haas: Sometimes survival is a racing strategy

Haas F1 team owner Gene Haas says his team were fighting for survival during the past few years elaborating on his struggles as a team owner

While the American-based Haas F1 team made a promising start to their foray into Formula 1, owner Gene Haas, has explained why his team have struggled over these past few years, claiming that 2020 in particular was just a fight to maintain existence. Steadily climbing up the rankings from eighth in the team's championship in 2016 and 2017 to a best-placed fifth in 2018, the team has since entered a period of decline in the intervening years. The 2020 F1 season marked the team's lowest point in their short history, claiming just three points en route to ninth in the constructor's championship. "Sometimes survival is a racing strategy; just trying to survive," Gene Haas says to Racer.com. "I think up until 2019 we were really doing very well, and we had plenty of horsepower and the cars were very competitive but then we wound up doing fuel mileage races where we actually had to do a lot of lift and coasting, so that really hurt us. "Then in 2019 we were down on horsepower considerably compared to the Ferrari cars, and that hurt. We did really well in qualifying, but when the race came, our horsepower was just off." Haas goes on to cite how Ferrari's struggles with their power-unit also impacted his outfit given Haas' close ties to the team from Maranello. "Then in 2020 when Ferrari had a reduction in their horsepower, it was pretty obvious that all of the Ferrari engine cars had horsepower deficits compared to Mercedes, Honda and Renault. Our boat’s tied to the Ferrari ship, so when they’re going slow we’re going even slower – I don’t think there’s much you can do about that. "We have no control over the parts that we obtain from Ferrari. We have faith that Ferrari can fix the problem, and not only does Ferrari have this problem, but so does Honda and Renault – everyone’s at a deficit to the Mercedes engine." Haas goes on to offer a polarising view on the Mercedes engine, while on the one hand he praises their effort in building such a good power-unit, he is also quick to point out that their dominance is killing the sport. "They built an extremely high performance, high fuel efficiency, durable engine that no other team’s been able to come close to," Haas explained. "To me, it’s really killed what Formula 1’s all about. More power to Mercedes for being able to dominate so much of the thing, but who wants to go to a race when you know who’s going to win every friggin’ race that’s out there? That just gets boring."

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