In F1, it is common practice for a large manufacturer to have a partnership with a customer team. Like Engine providers, Mercedes helped Racing Point with its controversial ‘Pink Mercedes’ car this season. And Ferrari played a part in Mick Schumacher securing a drive in F1 with Haas for 2021.
But if Haas already pays for engines from Ferrari, why is it giving away a race seat to them? The answer lies in the vast amount of personnel that the Italian outfit is transferring to them.
The most prominent of which is Simone Resta, head of the chassis engineering. Not only the personnel but Ferrari is also setting up a factory next to their own in Maranello for them to work in.
“These persons will be in Maranello in a completely separate building to Scuderia Ferrari. They will not have access to the Scuderia Ferrari building,” – said Binotto.
But is Ferrari trying to bend the regulations?
First, why is the team shifting its workers? According to Team Principal Mattia Binotto, their hand has been forced by the new cap restrictions. So, they need to reduce their expenditure, “It is something that was necessary for us. Because we had to reduce our organization of today to fulfill what are the limitations of the budget cap.”
However, this all smells fishy. And considering they have little trust from other teams in lieu of their 2019 ‘illegal engine’ sanctions. But Binotto is launching a staunch defense against any accusations –
“Haas is a fully independent team, compared to Ferrari. It is not a junior team and we are not exchanging information beyond what’s possible in the regulation.”
So why Haas and not simply let go of employees?
They could have simply laid off their workers to reduce the budget and not just shift it to a team of their liking. But Binotto did not want the rival teams like Mercedes and Red Bull to snatch them up –
“If I may choose and I have to reduce my organization, I’m certainly more happy to know that those guys are joining the Haas team and reinforcing them, instead of being simply on the market and available to other teams.”
Just another unique solution to the continuing trend of collaboration in F1. In the end, both parties will richly reap the rewards here. Other teams will hate it, but why will they care.