As the Formula One circus heads to Austin Texas, there are conflicting emotions at the front of the grid. Ferrari have collapsed in the title battle whilst Mercedes have reached the heights of the expectation that they have created for themselves for the previous three seasons. Haas – the only American team in the field – have recently said this season has been much more difficult than their debut, despite already scoring 14 more points this season compared to last.
All the results from the 2017 season point towards a highly successful one for Haas and here are some that prove this.
Mexican makes way for Magnussen
At the end of 2016 Haas announced that Kevin Magnussen would replace the duties of Esteban Gutierrez for Haas’ second season. In terms of points this has turned out to be an inspired decision but in qualifying this isn’t the case.
Romain beat Esteban 13-8 in qualifying throughout the course of the season and this year Romain heads his Danish teammate 10-6 on a Saturday. As well as that Romain out-qualified Esteban by an average of 0.417 seconds – this figure is more than double against Kevin (0.875s). In contrast, when Magnussen has out-qualified his French teammate it has been by an average of 0.880s which is more than Romain’s average over himself.
However, in terms of points it’s a completely different story; in 2016 Romain scored all of the points accumulated by Haas whereas this year has been more evenly matched. Grosjean has scored 65% of Haas’s 43 points this season with Magnussen collecting the remaining 35%. As a result of both drivers scoring points this season, this meant that it was only at the Austrian GP that Haas managed to equal its points tally from the previous season via Grosjean’s impressive 6th place.
Consistency with Kevin
Not only has Kevin Magnussen helped Haas to score a higher proportion of points than previous driver Esteban Gutierrez, he has helped Haas score points in more races this season. Haas have scored in 10 of the 16 races so far (with two double points finishes along the way) whereas in their debut season they only scored in 4 races out of a possible 21.
From these 10 point scoring finishes Grosjean has scored points 8 times this season which is double that of Magnussen’s finishes in the points of 4. While this places the Frenchman as the superior driver in the team, Kevin has still contributed more to the team this season than Esteban in 2016.
Despite this fact, Magnussen has finished ahead of Grosjean 8 times this season which is once more than Romain has finished ahead of him. If you take DNF’s out of the equation, the Dane’s supremacy of finishing ahead of his teammate is strengthened as he leads by 6-4.
A lot of credit must be given to the Haas team themselves because in a very strong midfield this season they have scored much heavier in their second season. The American team have (so far) fought off the revitalised Renault and have capitalised on a struggling season for McLaren Honda.
Haas have done a great job to avoid the ‘second season syndrome’ despite having to adapt to new the heavily demanding regulations from the start of this season. They head to Austin hoping to score more than the solitary point they claimed last season via Romain Grosjean to please their home crowd.
Formula One in the States seems to be on the rise and as it stands Haas are heading in a similar direction.