Haas not ruling out points on F1 debut in Australia

Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:09am EDT
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - New Formula One team Haas are not ruling out clinching points on debut at Sunday's Australian Grand Prix so long as the 'stars align', according to team principal Guenther Steiner.

The first U.S. owned team in the sport since 1986, Haas bring a car built in Italy by chassis maker Dallara with Ferrari engines and technical support.

The well-funded outfit also boast experienced drivers in Frenchman Romain Grosjean and former Ferrari reserve Esteban Gutierrez, who was previously behind the wheel at Sauber.

"If all the stars are in the right place, it will be realistic but they need to be all lined up," Italian-born American Steiner told reporters at the paddock at Albert Park on Thursday.

"After the test, because the second week we wanted to do more set-up work and we haven't done it, I'm a little bit -- I wouldn't say scared -- but a little bit conservative that we hit the right set-up.

"I think the car is the right platform but now we have to find the right set-up.

"If we hit the set-up right and we can get more confidence then I think it's possible."

Guenther said the team had been working day and night for the past three months to build camaraderie but there had been precious little time for bonding outside the garage.   Continued...

Haas Formula One driver Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico takes part in a news conference in Mexico City, Mexico, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido