Ferrari Formula 1 chief Maurizio Arrivabene says he is “honored” to have been working with the Haas team through its debut season in the sport.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas saw his F1 operation make its grand prix debut in Australia back in March, with Romain Grosjean finishing sixth on debut.
The Haas team arrives in Austin, Texas this weekend for the United States Grand Prix, becoming the first American outfit in 30 years to be racing on home soil.
Haas has enjoyed an extensive technical partnership with Ferrari through its debut season, with part of the deal seeing Esteban Gutierrez race alongside Grosjean.
Speaking in Friday’s FIA press conference, Arrivabene expressed his happiness with the Haas partnership, saying the American team’s approach to F1 is an example that could be followed.
“I’m happy about our partnership with Gene. And also, I have to say, honored, to work with Haas,” Arrivabene said.
“The reason why is that it’s an example to follow. In the way that they come in, they are investing in Formula 1, they trust in Formula 1, they are very serious, very committed.
“In many, many years I saw people coming in, taking here or there some points, having the money in the pocket and leaving.
“Team Haas is not like this. It’s an example to follow in the way that they come in, they have an objective, they’re working for their objective and they have a long-term commitment.
“So, I’m more than pleased and I repeat, honored to work with a team like this. Formula 1 needs serious people.”
The other team bosses in the press conference also offered complimentary remarks about Haas’ debut season.
“I think they’ve had a great first year,” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said.
“First of all, it’s super to have a credible team on the grid. Haas has got a great track record in motorsport in this territory and to come into Formula 1 is no insignificant challenge.
“So, to have come in, to have come in credibly and efficiently and gone about scoring a good portion of points, being competitive, I think it’s very, very positive.”
“The track record of Gene in the States speaks really for itself and how they’ve done in the first year is impressive,” Mercedes’ Toto Wolff added.
“Like Gene said, we’ve been around for many years and he’s competing against teams who have built-up infrastructure and capability over decades and doing as good in the first year is really good.”
“I think they’ve done a great job and in particular because they are ahead of us so they are some form of nightmare to us, to the championship,” Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul joked.
“Mostly I think it is interesting because they are showing that, as always, the points you are taking at the start of the season are very important. They almost count twice or three times more.
“Also, that in Formula 1 it’s important to have planning and preparation time. So it’s quite different and in contrast to our situation at Renault, where we sort of arrive in Melbourne in a bit of a panic mode, unprepared, with more resources.
“So it’s all to the credit of Gene and his team, but I think they are compensating, through planning and a clever business model and the relationship with Ferrrari, the lack of resources that they have in comparison to other teams.
“The challenge obviously is to make that sustainable on the long run. That’s obviously what I wish to the team.”