Haas Formula 1 chief Günther Steiner feels fifth place in the constructors’ championship is out of reach for the team in 2017, instead setting his sights on recovering seventh place from Renault.
NASCAR team co-owner Gene Haas set up his eponymous F1 operation in 2016, which finished its debut season eighth in the teams’ standings.
Haas has already beaten its score from its debut season in 2017, and has been in the close-knit midfield pack including Williams, Toro Rosso and Renault all bidding to finish fifth.
Haas lost P7 in the standings to Renault two weeks ago in Singapore, and Steiner believes recovering this place should be the main target through the final six races of the season.
“I think fifth is a little bit ambitious. I think we cannot finish fifth but we try to finish seventh,” Steiner said.
“I think at this moment in time we would be happy with that. We stopped developing the 2017 car quite a while ago to concentrate on next year’s car.
“We have limited resources. We need to focus that we stay stable year-to-year, not just one year up and down because then you create a wave-effect and you never get a grip of what you’re doing. We try to do our best.
“We will bring a few more developments but they are small. The last one comes in Austin. We hopefully can score some points.
“I hope also that our worst circuits are behind us, like the slow speed, high downforce ones. Our car doesn’t like them.
“It’s tough in the midfield. We just need to try to do always a perfect job.”
Chip Ganassi Racing announced a new primary sponsorship deal with The American Legion this week, shoring up the funding on its No. 10 Dallara-Honda of Alex Palou.
The 2021 NTT IndyCar Series champion primarily had driven with NTT Data sponsorship the past two seasons. But NTT Data will move next season to McLaren Racing as a primary sponsor for Felix Rosenqvist in 10 races and on the Indy 500 car of Tony Kanaan (who drove an American Legion car for Ganassi at the Brickyard last year).
It was the latest twist in a McLaren-Ganassi saga that included a contract dispute for the services of Palou (who is expected to move to McLaren in 2024 after reaching an agreement to race with Ganassi next year).
Ganassi stayed within its own walls to help plug the sponsorship gap left by NTT Data, re-signing The American Legion to a multiyear extension. The Indianapolis-based non-profit organization, which has been sponsoring Ganassi cars for the past few seasons, also will be associated with other Ganassi drivers, including Indy 500 winner Marcus Ericsson and development driver Kyffin Simpson in Indy NXT.
The Ganassi organization will continue promoting The American Legion’s “Be The One” campaign aimed at reducing veteran suicides. The team launched an online auction for the initiative this week.
“Supporting our nation’s veterans is of immense importance to our organization and we are humbled to continue supporting The American Legion’s mission in ending veteran suicide,” team owner Chip Ganassi said in a release. “We will do absolutely everything we can to help veterans get the support they need while raising public awareness of the ‘Be The One’ platform.”
“We have received an overwhelming amount of support from fans, active-duty military members and veterans as a result of this partnership and we’re pleased to see it grow,” said Dean Kessel, chief marketing officer at The American Legion. “Thanks to the continuous collaboration with the team’s other partners, and the promotion of the ‘Be The One’ initiative, we are discovering more ways to engage with the military community than ever before. We want all veterans to know that it’s okay to ask for help.”