The new season isn’t kicking off in the best way for Haas. The American team won’t be able to fit and fire up their new Ferrari engine in the usual timeframe, they have no choice but to wait until right before the pre-season testing in Bahrain.
“We have issues with Ferrari employees coming to Banbury to start up the engines because they would need to quarantine,” explained Team Principal Guenther Steiner to F1.com.
The restrictions put in place by the UK government in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic, require a 10 days period of self isolation for anyone entering the country.
This makes it pretty much impossible for Ferrari technicians to travel, as at such a crucial time no F1 team can afford to have employees stop for so long.
“We cannot afford that timewise, so we decided to do the fire up in Bahrain. The team will assemble the car in the UK, and then the final fire up will be in Bahrain before test.”
Up until now Haas has always assembled their car at Dallara in Italy, but not this year.
The VF-21 is being put together at their UK base in Banbury, for the very first time.
A decision that surely made things a lot easier logistically wise, preventing them from having to transport parts from the 2020 car, considering many components are being carried over.
Having to wait until March is certainly not ideal, but Steiner argues that things could have been much more difficult.
“Absolutely [it is late],” he said.
“But to our advantage, there is a lot of carryover so it’s not as dramatic as it would have been in any other year.”
“With the engine, there are a lot of the parts are carried over. The gearbox is carried over, too, and parts like the wiring harnesses. If this was not the case, it would be a very big risk to do it in Bahrain. But with this situation, the risk is manageable.”