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Gunther Steiner has insisted he doesn’t care about scepticism over the relationship between his Haas team and Ferrari. The American outfit have long purchased engine parts off the Scuderia, whilst also acquiring staff members. They also have a ‘hub’ at Ferrari’s Maranello base in Italy.
It has been a dramatic year for Steiner and co, thrown into turmoil by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February. The war led to the sacking of driver Nikita Mazepin, whist the team also cut ties with main sponsors Uralkali, a company owned by Mazepin’s father.
Then, in just the second Grand Prix of the year in Saudi Arabia, Mick Schumacher was forced to miss the race after an expensive accident in qualifying. Following months of speculation, the second generation driver was released by Steiner at the end of the campaign, being replaced by Nicolas Hulkenberg.
That was despite Schumacher notching two top-10 finishes, while Kevin Magnussen finished 13th in the standings with 25 points. After failing to get off the mark in the Constructors’ in 2021, the upturn in form again had critics questioning the influence of Ferrari on their ‘B’ team.
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“We have got used to it,” the German said, when asked about the jibes from Motorsport-Total in Germany. “If you’re good, you’re a copycat, if you’re bad, nobody cares. It’s like, ‘alright, keep saying it, we’ve heard it before’. It’s a broken record. It doesn’t bother me. I don’t care at all.”
The likes of Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, Alpine’s Otmar Szafnauer and McLaren’s Andreas Seidl have all previously raised Haas’ close ties to Ferrari. However, none have submitted an official complaint to the FIA on the matter.
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The issue of replicating in F1 kicked off in 2020 when Racing Point (now Aston Martin) produced a car dubbed the ‘pink Mercedes’ for its resemblance to the W10 from 2019. As a result, Racing Point were docked 15 Constructors’ points and fined £359,000 for copying the brake ducts.
Wolff, via planetf1, has previously said: “Some of the job-hopping, or entity-hopping, on the same premises is just creating arguments that are not necessary for the sport. But going forward, if we were to need to compromise our income ability, we need to do this because none of the teams should be able to co-operate in a way that we’re seeing with some.”
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