Times are tough for Ferrari. Handicapped by the confidential agreement reached with the FIA in the offseason, the prancing horse brand is now struggling to extricate itself from Q1. The single-seaters it propels are increasingly in difficulty: the six Ferrari-powered cars have scored only 15 points in the last four Grands Prix, against 145 for the six Mercedes, 107 for the four Renault and 100 for the four Honda.
Haas F1 Team and Alfa Romeo clearly suffer from this lack of power, confined to the back of the grid, but the American team is well aware of what it owes to Ferrari, from whom it buys as many parts as the regulations allow since its inception. in Formula 1 in 2016. Thus, his team manager Günther Steiner does not intend to turn his back on Maranello.
"I am a believer in loyalty, as is Gene [Haas]", Steiner says. “They've played a pivotal role in getting us to where we are, and they've done a good job in that direction. They're a little bit struggling right now, as we obviously know, but hopefully it's going to be a challenge. in the short term, and they'll get through it. Ferrari has always bounced back. Starting at the first hurdle, I think it's not very ethical, because without them we wouldn't be there. I don't forget that. "
The contract between Haas and Ferrari will nevertheless expire at the end of 2021, and Renault could represent an option for the small team of Banbury: the Losange will no longer have an engine customer from next year, McLaren joining the Mercedes fold. There is, however, a big obstacle to Haas adopting another engine manufacturer: the design and production of the chassis is being led by Dallara, across the Alps.
"We have to see other opportunities as well, but the other opportunities are very complicated for us because we have part of our infrastructure in Italy", emphasizes Steiner. "We would have to move everything to England, and that is not free. For now, for us, working hard with Ferrari on the future and not being distracted is the best solution. However, if an engine manufacturer wants to come talk to us about a free power unit, we will gladly listen to it! "
As for Cyril Abiteboul, director of Renault F1 Team, he also tempers the possibility of a new engine partnership: "We are not actively seeking. We think it would be welcome now that we have a plan and a long term commitment to F1, and we are open to opportunities. But it's not like we are actively looking for opportunities just because we have been involved in a lot of client agreements. And it is still not so obvious that this brings something really necessary in order to achieve sporting goals. "