F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Haas

Haas enjoyed a productive 2017 with more points finishes than in their debut campaign, a trend they will hope continues this season.

Romain Grosjean in the 2018 Haas   -  Getty Images

Ahead of the opening race of the 2018 Formula One season in Australia on March 25, we take a look at how each team is shaping up for the new campaign.

Here we assess whether Haas can build on a successful second campaign.

 

HOW DID THEY PERFORM IN 2017

Although Haas finished eighth in the constructors' championship for the second successive season, the American team scored 18 points more last year.

A double retirement in Australia did not bode well but they quickly moved on and enjoyed a number of strong finishes, including two races (Monaco and Japan) where both drivers were in the top 10.

Their 47 points closed the gap to the teams above them, with Toro Rosso and Renault within 10 at the end of the season.

 

THE 2018 LINE-UP

Romain Grosjean

The Frenchman was Haas' marquee signing when they arrived in F1 two years ago but last season he scored one point less than in the debut campaign. His experience will be vital if Haas are to further develop in this term.

The closest he came to a podium last year was sixth in Austria, something Haas will want to improve on this time around.

Kevin Magnussen

After only five points finishes last season, Magnussen needs to up his game and provide more of a challenge for Grosjean and in turn push Haas onto another level.

It will be the first time Magnussen has driven the same car for successive years, so the pressure will be on to show he has learned from 2017.

 

THE TO-DO LIST

- Improve reliability. Grosjean and Magnussen retired eight times across the 2017 season, something they cannot afford if they are to battle the mid-table teams.

- Channel the Ferrari speed. Haas are powered by the Ferrari 063 power unit in 2018 which should make them competitive, providing their VF-18 chassis does not hold them back.

 

HOW WILL THEY FARE

Challenging for the top spots is unlikely unless the reliability issues can be resolved, and even then a mid-table battle looks the best they can hope for.

Staying with Renault and Toro Rosso will be their main aim, while also closing the gap to Williams and fending off the improving McLaren.