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Featured Does Double DNF Mask Haas' Potential?

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    Haas Aus.jpg Mechanical problems for Haas in Melbourne masked the potential of a car Romain Grosjean believes can challenge Williams at the front of the midfield.

    On the back of a relatively successful debut season, Haas are aiming high this year and have shown promise in preseason testing and free practice. Other than the still reoccurring problem of their brakes, the team was looking strong this weekend. Until the race.

    Grosjean had scored Haas’ best qualifying to date on Saturday, starting sixth on the grid, whilst multiple scruffy laps from Kevin Magnussen saw his teammate start far back down the order in seventeenth.

    From there, things started to go downhill for Haas. Magnussen collided with Marcus Ericsson at the start of the race, sustaining damage that would eventually lead to his retirement.

    Grosjean’s problem is a little more confusing. The Frenchman had been running in seventh, having lost a place to Felipe Massa at the start of the race, when the car suffered a water leak. The team are unsure as to the cause of the problem, but it cost Grosjean a promising finish.

    “I suddenly lost a lot of power. I told the guys, then the next thing I knew I had to slow down the car,” he said. “It’s a pretty disappointing result but, again, right now I’m hot and we’re all disappointed to lose a seventh place position, but the car was there in qualifying.”

    Of course, there’s no guarantee Grosjean would have kept the position, with Carlos Sainz already pressuring the Frenchman at the start of the race. But Grosjean is confident the car is competitive.

    “I felt I was faster than the Williams, so there’s huge potential in the car,” he said.

    “I guess the key for us is to keep the momentum and get the consistency we didn’t have last year, where I’d be fifth in Bahrain then nineteenth in China. I really want to improve on that and get more consistency in terms of results. If we do that, then I’m sure there are going to be plenty of races where we can score good points.

    “I’m feeling it right now, but tomorrow I’m going to wake up thinking ‘you know what, we’ve got a great car’ so, no matter what, we’ve got a great car. We’re going to be there this year.”

    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.

    Do you think Haas can challenge Williams? What did you make of the team’s weekend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
     
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  2. Terry Rock

    Terry Rock

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    I think it is very early yet.
    Grosjean looked good, but Massa is no slouch on good days.
    Williams has also had the benefit of a lot of years in F1, to 'feel' their way around adversity.
    With Paddy going there, Haas may have their work cut out for them.
     
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  3. Gui Cramer

    Gui Cramer

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    They have until round 4 to get any points on the board. Very impressed by Romain's qualifying, may their reliability stop being a problem and that they also don't suffer the brake problems from last season.
     
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  4. Matt Orr

    Matt Orr

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    Absolutely Haas can challenge Williams over the course of the year, especially if Williams' recent history of starting relatively strong but not developing as well over the year is anything to go by. Doubly so if Williams only has one driver this season as it appears. (even if the 2nd Haas car is apparently useless as can be LOL)

    I think that whole pack of Williams / Force India / STR and Haas are all generally close enough it'll come down to who has good days and bad days. I'd put Haas at the bottom of those 4, but I don't think their pace was exactly shocking.
     
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  5. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper
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    It looks like the midfield could be quite competitive especially in the early races. Should be interesting there.
     
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  6. Blimey

    Blimey
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    WIlliams is a 4th place car right now, but Stroll will drag them low, so Force India will probably get their 4th spot.
     
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  7. Bobby Pennington

    Bobby Pennington
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    I think it's early, but for Haas it looks promising. Force India and Williams (especially with Paddy) will be a tough challenge. STR should be in there as well, but the way things go with them who knows.
    As a fan, I love having a home team like Haas too root for, but I have to say I've pulled for European teams and drivers for so long it's going to be tough to do.
    I just hope this will pull American interest into this amazing sport. Time will tell.
     
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  8. nhill40

    nhill40
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    Yeah, I'm much the same way - having a "home team" is fun and I definitely consider myself a Haas fan (or, at least someone who is really hoping Haas gives us something to cheer for)...but it feels weird at the same time!

    I hate to sound pessimistic, but I don't think I'm wrong here: I think even if Haas did very well and got to the point where they could compete with the "big boys", I really don't think that would move the American needle much.

    I think an American driver and/or 2 US GP's per year has a higher likelihood of getting Americans to tune in. As far as getting a second US GP, while I don't think that is likely to happen (and there is a huge underlying venue question to work around), I do think it is much *more* likely to happen with Liberty taking the reigns.

    I was listening to a podcast just today where some guy (from Forbes, I believe) was criticizing how hopelessly outdated/short sighted Bernie's "dealmaking" mentality was. If venue A was offering "X million" and venue B was offering "X million + 1 penny", venue B was assuredly getting the race because, from Bernie's viewpoint, they were offering the better deal...it didn't matter to him that venue B happened to be in the hinterlands of Mongolia! The hope is the new ownership might be a bit more strategic in terms of factoring in where F1 stands to gain fans when making such decisions.
     
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  9. Bobby Pennington

    Bobby Pennington
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    Nick I agree. I don't really know if the US will ever embrace F1 regardless of what happens. I remain optimistic, but....

    Ah yes, the Bernie factor. While he did a lot for the sport, the past 10 to 12 years I feel like he just sold Europe out. I know it needs to be global, but I think he hurt the sport regarding it's loyal fans.
    I went to all the F1 races at Indy and you could see how much Tony George did to make Bernie happy. We had record crowds and the community of Indianapolis loved the event. By all accounts it was a success except in the dictators eyes. All Bernie ever did was complain about attendance because the stands weren't full. The stands he was referring to were so far away from the action that nobody would ever want to sit there. The stands in question were in turn 3 and the short straight to turn 4 (Indy 500 corners).

    Anyway, when it came time to renew the contract, Bernie was asking for so much money that it didn't make economic sense to carry on. I hated too see it go, but like the fact that someone told the dictator no. As long as Bernie was in charge, I didn't want any US city to play ball with him. Fortunately the folks that did COTA were able to think (or have inside info) of the bigger picture. Which leads to Liberty.

    I hope that Liberty does things to keep the European roots of F1 so it doesn't implode the way CART did here in the US.

    Time will tell. Fingers crossed.
     
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  10. Matt Orr

    Matt Orr

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    I don't think Haas has any bearing on F1's future here in the US, and I don't think a driver particularly does either anymore given you basically have to be living in Europe from a young age to make it to F1 on skill. And at the end of the day no American driver will be able to pay his way in and have a legitimate chance as F1 doesn't capture American corporate racing dollars the way it does for other countries for many very obvious reasons.

    I think the only thing with Haas is the fact occasionally it will be mentioned during the NASCAR race as it was today. But it's hard to believe that would result in a huge movement towards F1 here.

    Worth also noting, America has a solid history when it comes to motorcycle racing on the world stage. We've had several champion riders, race winners, well attended GPs. But who really cares? Exactly, the few other dudes you know who watches it. Cracking mainstream America is a yuuuge ask.

    Frankly, as long as the "live" race is at 4:30 AM in California (yes, I did just pick about the worst case scenario to prove my point) F1 will never move the needle here. To follow the sport you have to be hardcore about racing here. There is no other way, and until they push back the European start times to make them more friendly to this side of the pond they will get nowhere in 2017.

    I'll also say there is something telling in conversations I've had with non-racing fans. Generally when they learn I like racing this is the conversation - it is incredibly predictable.
    Me: "I like racing"
    Them: "So like... NASCAR, right?"
    Me: "No, not really. I'm more of an IndyCar fan."
    Them: "Those are the ones they race in Europe, right?"
    Me: "No. Leave me alone now."

    Pretty much every time.

    Casual America knows F1 exists - either by "prior education" of some sorts like seeing a commercial pop up, or because they just "know" because it is one of those things "you know" because everyone knows- like say, the linemen in a football game should be very large individuals.

    They still don't care, and they won't care any time soon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
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  11. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
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    That made me chuckle and shake my head at the same time.
    Is Indycar still so unpopular? Sure, the 90s are gone...
     
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  12. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    Just look at them...they look like the unwanted child of a transformers robot and the Redbull x2010.
     
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  13. BhZ

    BhZ
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    You mean american football, right? I'm afraid you choose a bad example ;) That's not exactly the kind of things we europeans know.
     
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  14. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper
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    Good point on the time of races.. for some reason I never really thought of it like that... I enjoy the early races myself but can see how difficult that can make it for most people.
     
  15. Fabian Biehne

    Fabian Biehne
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    :D

    They’re not the prettiest race cars, that’s true. But I think the racing itself is not that bad, or is it?
    However it was the worst decision that the CART series had to split up, it offered much better cars and racing than F1 imo (speaking of the early mid 90s CART).
     
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  16. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    90's CART were by far the most spectacular cars. It dosent help dwelling in the past, but I sure do miss them.
     
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  17. MustartMatters

    MustartMatters

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    Yes.
     
  18. gamer19

    gamer19

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    Yes, Haas deserves more then what they got but I'm afraid it will be the same as last year... they will grab a couple of good spots early in the year then better R&D of bigger teams will prevail.
    Well, they better hurry and minimize these... ball drops.
     
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  19. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper
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    I'm really enjoying the new Indycar series... got back to watching it a couple of years ago and some of the racing has been superb. The cars were a bit fragile but have been improved and I think they are meant to be getting rid of those rear wheel protection pods at some point. Some very good drivers are in this series and it's a shame it doesn't get more recognition but hopefully that will change over time if they keep going in this direction.
     
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  20. Jan Larsen

    Jan Larsen
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    The racing has been good yes, but good drivers contribute to that a lot. From the onboards, the cars look sketchy and twitchy to drive, with questionable aero.

    Returning to the subject; I'm a Dane, but Magnussen really needs to step it up. He, regardless of issues, underperformed all weekend. He didnt prove the speed in the car in one single session all weekend. 2 errors in same place on the same day in the same session isnt good and there's no excuse for plowing into Ericsson when coming 10 miles from behind and with clear air to brake in. And for Steiner blaming Ericsson for not leaving Magnussen room is a braindead excuse, especially from watching the onboard.
     
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