Haas on course for maiden F1 season


Haas remain on course to take their place on the grid at the first Formula One race of the season in Australia, team principal Gunther Steiner has confirmed.

The American team plan to "fire up" their car for the first time later this month and are confident of making their debut in the first test in Barcelona on February 22.

"Fire-up is planned for the 15th," Steiner told Autosport.

"It's all about milestones now. One of those milestones we recently passed was the crash tests. That was good. It gave confidence to the engineering team.

"Fire-up will be the next significant milestone in Haas' history. Then it will be about getting the car on the track for the first time, then a first race start.

"But fire-up for me is a big one. It's exciting, one of those things you look forward to.

"We are at a good point. There is a problem a day as the cars are highly complicated, as everybody knows, but we're racers and we're good at solving them.

"We're at that stage where the car is continuously being assembled now, with most of the parts built, so it's all about putting it together.

"But we'll be at the first test, no doubt, rolling the car out on the Monday morning. That is the plan. At the moment I don't see why not."

Discussing the preparations of drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez, Steiner added: "They are in the phase of getting ready physically for the championship.

"They're in the simulator, but it all starts with the seat fit, which is next week.

"They get a seat and then they go racing. That's when it all starts to become real."