Its seems an age since Haas F1 Team made their awaited debut in F1.
After their takeover of Marussia, reluctantly postponing their 2015 season debut , Gene Haas’s team finally graced us with their presence in the 2016 season.
With the colorful Guenther Steiner as its technical director, and a driving team that consisted of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.
Haas’s turned many heads when they established a partnership with Ferrari, which was met with a mixed response from the paddock.
Haas’s ambitious approach was criticized by the smaller, privateer teams who had invested in their own infrastructure.
And they was also more than willing to express their concerns about the close relationship between manufacturers and satellite constructors handing more political power to the sport’s larger constructors.
Haas F1 Team debut season
Haas debut came at the 2016 seasons opening Australian Grand Prix, with Grosjean finishing 6th, and scoring eight points for the team.
This was more than just points, as it was the first time a American constructor won points in a debut F1 race, and the first time since Toyota Racing in 2002 that a constructor had managed to record points in its debut.
It wasn’t a completely successful debut as Esteban Gutiérrez crashed out in an incident which destroyed former world champion Fernando Alonso’s McLaren and caused the race to be temporarily red-flagged.
Bahrain again saw the team register points, with Grosjean finishing 5th. Although they managed to pick up points here and there the rest of the season was far more quiet for Haas F1 Team.
Coincidentally it was Grosjean who picked up all 29 points in their debut season helping Haas to 8th place in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Magnusson Grosjean era
2017 saw a change of the guard with Haas replacing Gutierrez, with former Mclaren driver Kevin Magnusson.
A relationship that continued for four season and helped establish a reliable competitive team.
In their first season together they almost doubled their previous seasons tally scoring 47 points while once again finishing 8th in the constructors championship, with Grosjean coming out on top, outscoring his team mate Magnusson eight times to five respectively.
Success at last
2018 with an unchanged line up saw Haas break their mold and finish in a respectable and some would say surprising 5th place in the constructors scoring points in 14 of their 21 races (scoring in 66.67% of races).
With a impressive 93 points knocking on the door of the big boys of Formula 1.
Magnusson fired back outscoring Grosjean eleven to seven over the course of the season, with their biggest success coming in Austria where we saw both Haas cars finish just outside of the podium with a impressive 4th and 5th places respectively things was looking up for Haas or was they?.
Back to reality
Many asked after a successful 2018 season could Haas F1 Team repeat that performance? and the answer was no, in the 2019 season Haas finished with their worst season tally finishing 9th with just 28 points.
1 point below their debut season total, with a large portion of criticism being aimed at Grosjean, who failed to finish on 7 occasions scoring points just 3 times.
Final nail in the coffin
2020 was a season to forget for Haas F1 Team scoring just 3 points finishing 9th place for consecutive seasons, in a season that saw Grosjean suffer a horrific crash which resulted in Brazilian Pietro Fittipaldi replacing him for the final two races of the season and his career at Haas F1 Team.
This was by far the most out of depth Haas has looked during their tenure in F1, with just two lowly scoring finishishes, Guenther Steiner finally had enough and dropped the axe on both drivers.
And here we are after the first race weekend of the 2021 season.
Haas F1 Team and their supporters must look at this season as time to rebuild with two rookie drivers.
Driving sensation fresh off his Formula 2 championship win Mick Schumacher, son of 7 time World Champion Michael Schumacher, managed a 16th place finish in his F1 debut the last finishing car.
He will be partnered with perhaps a surprising choice in Russian Nikita Mazepin, who many believe is yet to prove himself ready of the demands and talent required to be part of a F1 team.
This wasn’t helped with a DNF on his debut after spinning at corner 4 something he coincidentally managed to do in qualifying aswel.
Adding to this his father has been rumoured to have funded a portion of Haas’s funds for the season many eyes are already on the young Russian.
The Way Forward
It is necessary for Haas F1 Team, to maintain stability, with a car minus reliability issues a must and picking up some point scoring finishes here and there would be a successful season for Haas, as it looks as though 2021 they will be fighting for last place with Williams.
Its unfortunate to say that a large portion of their expectations will be largely on the shoulders of Mick Schumacher, a pressure that could very well make or break a young driver, with what we have seen so far during his short career some point scoring drives are well withing the realm of possibility for the young German.
Can Mick Schumacher replicate his Formula 3 and Formula 2 successes in F1? and can Mazepin prove his doubters wrong and that he’s a driver capable of bringing long term success to Haas F1?
One thing is for sure were guaranteed to a animated Guenther Steiner during the season.
How do you see the Haas 2021 season panning out, and can they get back to the highs of 2018?
Featured image credit – Embed from Getty Images
Main image Credits – Embed from Getty Images
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