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Haas lose Monza appeal: How does that shape the midfield?
Posted By: Editor   |  02 Nov 2018   |  4:53 pm GMT  |  86 comments

Haas have lost their appeal against Romain Grosjean’s disqualification from 6th place at the Italian Grand Prix.

The US team had been hoping for a reversal of the stewards’ decision to exclude the Frenchman from the Monza race, but now face an uphill task to overall the thirty-point lead held by Renault for fourth place in the constructors’ championship.

Prior to the summer break, the FIA had issued a technical directive to the teams to ensure that each car floor had a 50mm radius at each front corner of the reference plane.

This made Haas’ car illegal, and they had until the Italian Grand Prix to alter their design.

However, Haas asked for special dispensation to delay their revised design until one race later, the Singapore Grand Prix, due to delays from outside suppliers.

Ultimately, the permission was not given, and a protest from Renault after the Italian Grand Prix resulted in Grosjean’s exclusion.

As well as denying Haas eight points, the disqualification also promoted Renault’s Carlos Sainz from ninth to eighth place, giving the French team an extra two points and giving them a ten-point swing in the constructors’ contest.

“Obviously we are disappointed not to have won our appeal,” said Haas team principal Guenther Steiner. “We simply move forward and look to the final two races of the year to continue to fight on track, earn more points, and conclude our strongest season to-date in Formula 1.”

The battle for ‘best of the rest’

In order to take fourth place from Renault, Haas face the mammoth task of outscoring their rivals by thirty points in the last two races.

For reference, Haas have only once scored a combined thirty points across a two-race period – across the French and Austrian Grands Prix, both races where drivers from the top six teams encountered trouble.

Therefore, they need their car to be better adapted to the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix circuits, drivers from the top six to have problematic races, and for Renault to score minimal points.

Despite their improved pace in 2018, this disqualification is the latest in a long line of incidents that have hampered a promising season for Haas.

Retirements from high-scoring positions in Australia, disqualifications and incidents for Romain Grosjean have all been factors in costing the team many more points than they have.

After being under threat from Haas, Renault have strengthened their hold on fourth place with 22 points in the last two races, which would’ve been more had Carlos Sainz’s car not failed in Mexico.

Nico Hulkenberg now has a twelve-point lead in the contest for seventh place (on 69 points).

His nearest competitors, Force India’s Sergio Perez (57 points) and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (53 points) both failed to score at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez.

By: Luke Murphy

All images: Motorsport Images

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Looks like a good 5th place. With the new sponsor, Grosjean might be back in black and gold. Haas said 5 years for his team, but he is getting more sponsors so he may continue. A new USA driver for Haas F1 team. Pietro Fiitipaldi. Born in Miami, so a US citizen. Good news, a USA driver in a USA car. It will be nice to see a USA sticker on the car, rather than that French one.


we should bring war into formula one : tire war, fuel war, brake war, appeal court war.


Drive-bys ect.


As long as you wear a Halo


I’m an American homer. So Haas has to be my favorite team. That said, this socialistic-over-regulated-uncompetitive atmosphere of Formula One today is no different than most of motor racing. It still boils down to one thing.

How Much Money Do You Want to Spend ?

How Fast Do You Want To Go ?


Grosjean is an idiot, and an expensive idiot to run in midfield for Haas, he is consistently responsible for the most hideous cock ups in F1 every year. Even though it appears that hre no longer believes he can outbrake half a dozen of the best drivers in the world on the first lap, every race or two, more crass mistakes.

Renault are working harder to become the most despised team in F1 than they are to fix their rubbish hybrid PU. Even including their virtual cheating by hiring an ex FIA inspector basically for his privileged information, whilst whining about “richer teams” and trying to damage the sport’s reputation in order to leverage another equilisation era… To save them money, or the bother of catching up, even with other teams secrets..


James and team, Can you throw some light on what went wrong with Vandoorne, and analyse the deficit in a more data based examination.


The bottom line is those 10 points make no difference. Let the driver keep them and take the construction points.

The mod they made seemed slower anyhow. They are new but learn fast.


The teams are all aware of the rules and they know how to fully comply. If they operate in a “grey area” then there is the distinct possibility that there will be a challenge from another team / FIA and they know what grief that can bring. Given that Haas knew what the issue was and were given sufficient time to correct then they were just taking the proverbial and “lets blame outside suppliers if challenged”. No sympathy here stick to the rules and you will always, or should be, ok.


BS, FIA didnt reply on their opponent, like taking no responsability wse…
It was not a last minute rescue call blaming someone else, just common sense on a minor detail others had ran as well.
Renault was pretty low on this, nobody else had an opinion, not even FIA.


We should have some technicals challenges tests and see what is going on like aero helmet, slim down tyre,, enlarge air trap, fiber carbon car floor.


Haas ought to hire Adrian Newey. He could get them around the rounded edges!


Yeah that would be so cool. If they got him the whole paddock would fear a Ferrari engine with AN aero.

Tornillo Amarillo

About the midfield:
What if the FIA rules to put some extra ballast to the top SIX F1 cars to level with the midfield? Difficult I imagine, but it could be more interesting than the DRS, and better than having a weird class A and B cars in the same F1 race, or such boring races without overtaking many times.



F1 should be pure competition, and the best of the best, so not a handicap race. Go and watch BTCC if you want manipulated championships. The big teams win more often because of budget, Liberty are trying to address the root cause and not put another layer of artifice in place such as DRS and comedy tyres.

F1 is the top level, the best should win.


I’m never a fan of using ballast to even out the grid. They use it in BTCC and they can never get it right. There would be nothing but constant complaints in F1 if they used it.


Give Merc 3 tonnes of ballast for next season


Hey Tornillo,

just to add to your success ballast idea, the points a driver scored in the last race is how many kilos they add for the next race.

….just a random thought.


To keep the WDC alive and fully artificially balanced to the very end, the added weight has to be accumulative from one race to the next. So Hamilton to drive around with 358 kgs of ballast in the next race?

Got to be a dedicated Sirotkin, Hartley or Stroll fan to think that is a good idea. ;o)


I like this. Has the effect of closing the field up without unduly penalising success. But it won’t be enough for Williams to start scoring points again…


Well drop liquid whoops the gas tank does that.

Tornillo Amarillo

Talking about the midfield, team Williams was so bad this year and so Low that from 10 teams at the start of the 2018 season they will finish 11th… 🙂


You could let them qualify for next season, but against who and what team…would be a fun format though


I think its not fair because Mercedes in theory could have done what they wanted.

Haas wouldn’t overhaul Renault anyhow.


This article would be greatly improved with an explanation of Technical Regulation 3.7.1 d) and photos showing the reference plane of the floor used by Haas at Monza. I’ve read the rule and looked at photos of the floor in question, and I can see why Haas’ designers believed their floor was legal.



Reagardinf legailty, thy much *is* explained in the article… haas asked for special dispensation to run one extra race with the now-illegal floor due to extenuating circumstances with their external supplier. They didn’t believe, nor were they arguing, that their floor was legal.


Question for a rules expert: As this part was not fixed with an angle grinder..Is it a crash tested component or is there another reason for not just filing off the corners?


Most of the Aero components are made from Carbon Fibre. Whilst some modification is possible after manufacture, any changes that wouldn’t wreck the component are minimal and certainly shouldn’t be done with an angle grinder.


I have worked with carbon fibre in sports boats . In many ways after the curing it is not a lot different to glass fibre. Don’t want to tell war stories but I have found that it can be very adaptable in non stressed areas and parts.Hence rounding off the corners of a non stressed part would ( on the surface) not appear too difficult.


So if it’s easy, what’s the problem? They should have done it. Even Williams managed it. Even Force India on their low budget managed it.


That’s what I’m asking……why could they not modify the part in the garage? Did FIA rules prevent it?


Gene also wanted have the same (equitable) treatment applied to Haas for “new team money” as Lawrence got for Racing Point/Force India. Any updates on that “appeal”?


Let’s be clear this DSQ being upheld won’t have been the deciding factor if Haas don’t get 4th place the deciding factor will have been the poor early form of Romain himself . He didn’t score any points in the first 8 races which in that car is poor. Granted the Haas F1 pit crew had a disaster with both cars in Melbourne but Romain made a lot of rookie errors in the first half of the season. Very surprised he was retained by Haas next year. Romain needs to be on it from race 1 to 21 next year.


The FIA statement and their receipt of the two team’s advocacy at the time:
Document 42 to Haas…

It just shows again, as we just recently saw with Mercedes wheel rims that its like FIA delights in the unknown anarchy of letting regulatory matters float with no conclusion of end to it. It should take weeks or here months for FIA to conclude.
Haas stated at the time that if the deadline for compliance did not get prolonged then they would not race in the Italian race as they couldn’t make the car’s floor legal within such short notice. And they also sent clear note to FIA saying that the lack of response after around 2 months they took as accept of their ask to accept delay of few weeks till after Italian GP for new rules to come into effect. FIA impose themselves that teams are not to work during the summer break. It is just obnoxious how they behave. E.g. why couldnt Mercedes get a clear answer to confirm if their new rim designs were legal or not? This is simply just not good enough, as we don’t want to wait months for legal procedures to determine the WDC and WCC, far away from fans or the race tracks.


I’m sorry but using the argument that because the FIA never got back to us we assumed that it was ok was an argument that was never going to work. If the FIA had accepted Haas argument then surely they would have issued a new directive to all teams extending the deadline.

Did any of the other teams have to change the element? If they did they managed to do it within the timescale issued by the FIA.


Seems FIA as you say Cyber, delight on changing the rules and regulations not so much in a fluid even handed manner.
But it figuratively allows itself to be open for a number of “open goals” , by allowing a different interpretation of its own rules and regs, then changes the finite interpretations which presents further rulings on absolutely everything .
It’s like the Head character in Civil Service who spins on a Ministerial level in bbc classic comedy “Yes Minister”.


Maybe Haas should have modified the floor from Dallara themselves.

It was in a grey area anyhow.


So Haas had trouble sending somebody to Walmart to by a pencil, a 2″ pipe off cut & an angle grinder?

Sorry Gunther, Renault’s protest was fair.


4” pipe


Sorry Axel. You are correct.

My bad, especially as I’m a Mechanical Engineer.

…… but in my defence, I’d just like to add that it was Saturday arvo when I posted, & I had been suffering a bad headache from a locked up neck which I was trying to free up with a LOT of bourbon.


Yeah I thought that too. One team getting another disqualified doesn’t seem very nice either.


It’s not that simple. The Haas car did have a floor had a 50 mm radius at each front corner of the reference plane. The issue is that the bargeboard footplate attached to the reference plane at the 50 mm radius. With the footplate attachment as far forward as it was, Renault argued and apparently the FIA agreed that the 50 mm radius wasn’t clearly visible when the floor was viewed from directly beneath the car.


One wonders how Renault got to see the underside view of the Haas car. Maybe French International Assistance tipped them off.


Without all the timeline ref points and the details of tyhe Haas request it’s difficult to assess. IMO, failure to receive confirmation from the FIA should’ve triggered a follow up…and that didn’t happen. No confirmation equals no deal.


Once again, the FIA decide the outcome of something or other outside of a race weekend and on a point 99% of the watching public have no idea or care about.

It’s so disheartening to see F1 mismanaged in this way by technical idiocies and rulings – year after year and nothing is learned.


Sorry but the blame lies with Haas not the FIA, the Haas cars were non-compliant with the regulations hence the car was illegal and as such was quite right to be thrown out.


What was the point of the appeal? The FIA gave them notice of when the change had to take place, and the other teams complied, hardly fair if one is allowed an extra race with the old design.

The ‘outside supplier’ defence is an excuse, not grounds for appeal.


The challenge was that when the FIA set the deadline they did not allow for HAAS getting the changes from an external supplier and were hence treating them unfairly. So not an excuse but not a reasonable challenge in the eyes of the FIA


Tomx. Then they need to lean on their suppliers a bit harder or make their own floor.


TimW..spoken like someone with a manufacturer team and unlimited recources behind him😁


Ooh I have an impersonator! Who is the mystery three star TimW? How exciting, although it’s probably just david…..


Guys..chill….The car was deemed illegal and I am not arguing. However either you accept the HAAS business model and make rulings that allow for it or you follow the Sauber,FI, Williams model that at the moment is about bankruptcy and pay drivers.


Tomx. It’s Formula one, a championship for constructors, the pinnacle of motor sports. If Haas can’t cope with that they should quit. Did Williams, Sauber or Force India get disqualified?


Spoken like someone who seems to think one team should be able to get away with an illegal car when everyone else had to (and did) comply with the rules. They had plenty of time. Really not sure why you’ve got such a big bee in your bonnet about it?


Wow that’s that then !!
I genuinely thought they might get a reprieve.


Agreed Flamer,
Reprieve would have been the right thing to do. But then again, this is FIA…

It is also a shame that JAonF1 doesn’t tell the full appropriate story with analytics, events and their timelines behind this final judgement. Here the Editor just posts FIA’s final decision, which we all equally well could just read on FIA’s homepage.


@BK Flame, no you didn’t. Everyone and their mother knew HAAS weren’t getting dem points back. 😀


Thanks for the review of what happened.

Unfortunately the FIA have only issued the result, not the case put by Haas and why it was rejected. I assume it was based more on the imposed timing of enforcement of TD and what they thought had been agreed and practical with a shutdown!

Incidentally TD/033-18 may have been issued in July, but its never been publicly available


Good decision I think.

They shouldn’t be allowed to test the legality of parts for their mother team.


The recently fired engineers and technicians have all since returned to maranello. Nothing to see here, move along… This isn’t 2015.


It’s a werid situation. Ferrari have three teams where they can test things. RB have two. Mercedes only the one. Still surprised they havent invested in a lower team. I’m sure the other two have HUGE benefits from it!


How do you count that? Doesnt Mercedes have 3 teams as well, with same options as engine supplier?
Hass did not allow enginesupplier to squezze in developement drivers, so were do this put FI, a true Mercedes B team, no?
At least Hass pay for the parts delivered, it seems common practice down the pitlane to copy opponents design, and then manufacture it as a “constructor”, lol


If you can’t see the difference between engine supply and aero data and all the other stuff they have access to then I can’t help you.

Do you think FI and Williams share all their data with Mercedes? Do you think they test parts for Mercedes?

Erm, yeah… “lol”


… but also, Mercedes does not have to water down their works team approach to develop their sister teams, and hence retain the massive advantage that they have had since 2014.

I remember Coulthard claiming that Toro Rosso was the bane of his existence when he raced for Red Bull 2006 – 2008 as it diverted resources from the senior team.


BigHaydo, that was ten years ago and has zero relevance now. Regulations have changed and restrictions have been put in place.

At the very least, if you don’t think having access to three lots of wind tunnel data nor indeed having two B teams where you can test parts (and drivers) out doesn’t give a significant advantage then I’m not sure what to tell you.

Do you honestly think that Ferrari “water down” their approach to the benefit of Haas and Sauber?


Seemed like an absolute slam dunk, so no surprise the appeal failed. Don’t think it will make much difference though, even with it the last few races have turned the tide for 4th strongly towards Renault.


Why should this be a slam dunk? Haas protested and asked for delay to this sudden rule change the same day FIA issued the new regulatory requirement and highlighted the facts:
1. Haas would not be able to update the corner radius on their floor plank with such short notice, as its produced by a 3rd party supplier with limited capacity.
2. The corner radius of the floor plank does not influence performance of the car, as long as the weight distribution is the same and no aero impact either. Which both are valid and correct observations from Haas side considering their floor plank design.

FIA talking about costs savings and wanting to make the racing more exciting and achievable for more teams is all bollocks when seeing such harsh judgement based on fundamental rule change given with such short notice. Especially as Haas highlighted their constraint regarding meeting deadline to FIA on the very same day they issued those rule change requirements. Again preference given to the bigger well funded factory teams.


So you’re suggesting teams should run illegal cars but have them built by third parties so that they have an excuse to keep running the illegal bits ?


Of course not! The rules have to be followed by everybody – No exceptions!
Haas raised the concern about the short deadline on the very same day FIA announced the changing regulations and the tight deadline. If FIA was worth anything, they could have reconsidered and given 2 weeks more to all. You can tell me please what the difference that would have made negatively on the sport or the racing we have observed?


@ Cyber….With a threat of invoking a DSQ if there was non compliance to the TD no professional management would proceed without confirmation. The timeline suggests that they had something like two months and still no follow up. What were they thinking?


Has were thinking that FIA is full of crap. (I guess we all do from time to time? ;o)
But the timing of this was as bad as it could be!
FIA have implemented ban to work for the teams during the summer break. So that left no time for team really to implement this, if not having the tool shed and floor plates on stock in ‘outsize sizes’ in your local assembly facility.
So no, they didn’t have 2 months. And Haas raised the issue on the very first day, which then would enable all teams to benefit from the same timeline. Of course all have to comply at the same time to the same set of rules.
FIA treated them badly as Haas had directly said to FIA that they wouldn’t race in Italy if the deadline remained, as they couldn’t be complying with that rule. FIA accepted this. And still did nothing to confirm or anything. FIA is a joke really. It shouldn’t take months to treat such situation of rule change and teams raising concerns to follow.


Unless Haas something from the FIA in writing saying they accept Haas’ situation and would extend the deadline then it should be read as the FIA hadn’t accepted their explanation and the deadline remains in place.

And it seemed as if only 1 team out of 10 raised concerns about the change (in this instance).


Because the FIA clarified and explicitly told all the teams that if they didn’t comply with the regulations they would be in breach? And every other one complied?

So what if Haas couldn’t comply in time, I’ll be honest I’m not exactly upset that there is a tiny flaw in their entire business model that other teams who build their own cars from scratch don’t have to deal with.

Also, Renault (admittedly hardly an unbiased observer) say the regulation was a safety issue, not a performance issue.


@ Andrew M…That’s an interesting comment. I was not aware of the why? Nevertheless it was the same for all teams.


Seriously, what were they expecting? They were caught cheating, given time to make amends, failed to do so, were protested – DQS. Fairly straight forward…

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