Haas’ protest against Force India – what is it about?

Haas has launched a protest against rival Force India over the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend.

This protest was about “equality”, according to Haas, with a hearing that took place on Friday. Their appeal was eventually dismissed by stewards.

The protest was concerning the fact that Force India changed ownership to become Racing Point Force India, instead of Sahara Force India. The team had to give up all points won up to this point due to this.

However, they did not lose their ‘Column 1′ prize money, which teams qualify for if they have finished two of the three last Constructor’s Championships in the last ten.

This is where Haas’ problem arises. As Force India changed ownership, they were allowed to retain their Column 1 prize money, whereas Haas were not allowed any Column 1 prize money for their first two years in Formula 1. In addition to this, there are certain parts of an F1 car that teams cannot transfer or share, and Haas argues that the current Racing Point Force India car was created by the previous team.

Haas Team Principal Gunther Steiner claimed to have questioned this to the FIA and F1 and launched a protest after no clear answer.

I don’t want to go into detail,” he spoke, “but I will try to speak with you and then avoid any more questions because I cannot speak too much. What we are seeking for is equality for all the teams.

“We came into Formula One under certain circumstances, we were aware of what we have to do, we did it all, and we feel that this was not done this time with Force India — so we are just seeking quality or at least an explanation why it isn’t done.

“The problem is maybe bigger than Force India, but we are just seeking that everybody is treated equally. That is the only thing we are seeking.

“We are not trying to get more. We are just trying to make sure that everybody in this position in the future knows what he’s going to do.”

After a few days of deliberating, the FIA ruled in favour of Force India. Since Sahara Force India is no longer a team, this means that Racing Point Force India haven’t broken any rules, since there is no rule saying that teams cannot take listed parts from a former team.

 

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