Haas boss Guenther Steiner says the team is not planning any updates to its 2020 Formula 1 car at the moment due to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Formula 1’s 2020 campaign has been delayed due to the pandemic and is likely to be condensed into a six-month period, with a final calendar yet to be confirmed.
Formula 1’s current cars will be used again in 2021, in a cost-saving measure, prior to the new regulations being implemented for 2022.
But a freeze on 2022 car development means teams cannot start working on their new packages until January 2021, ostensibly freeing up further resources for improvements to the current chassis.
However Haas, which slumped to ninth in last year’s Constructors’ Championship amid in-season development struggles, is set to keep its current-spec package for a prolonged period, as it evaluates its financial situation.
“At the moment we are not planning any upgrades until we know exactly what we are doing this year budget-wise and what we are doing race-wise,” said Steiner during a press conference on Thursday.
“I cannot spend money which I don’t know if I’ve got. At the moment we have to be very cautious with what we are doing, because obviously as you all know the income is going down with having less races and races without spectators.
“Until it’s very clear, I’m very cautious and just make sure we participate, that we do our job as best we can, that we are making no mistakes in the races and in the sessions and just focus on that.”
Speaking further about Haas’ decision, Steiner added: “The worst would be to spend the money now and then not have the money to do the upgrades. That is no help. Like any other company you need to manage this is part of the risk we have got. It’s fine, we need to live with that. This is an exceptional year, hopefully, for all of us so we live with it.
“We’ve learned quite a lot about upgrades – they are never as big as you hope they are as these days you can do quite a lot on the first car. In our opinion its not a necessity to have them.
“What is really needed for us is not to make mistakes, that’s what we’ve decided and we’ve gone down that road and not risk planning for something we cannot afford.
“That would be worse because then we wouldn’t be able to go to the last grands prix and then for sure that wouldn’t give us any points.
“It’s just how we manage a company and we are happy to do it like this. We know what we are doing and we are happy with the decision.”
Formula 1 is set for a run of eight grands prix in 10 weekends but Steiner dismissed suggestions that there could be a shortage of spare parts.
“Actually the spares situation is made easier because we are not planning any upgrades at the moment,” he said.
“So you know the races, you know how many parts you have to have. Sure you don’t plan on having a lot of crashes or anything, but at the moment we take an average year to base our quantity of spare parts so we shouldn’t have a problem.
“If we have a problem we will sort it, but there’s not a financial problem to have spare parts.”