Renault and Haas with different development programme

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While Renault intends to introduce a raft of upgrades in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, its rival midfield team Haas has decided to hold fire on unveiling new parts to its 2020 car.

Teams are diligently gearing up for the start of the delayed 2020 Formula 1 World Championship. After the novel coronavirus outbreak had put the 71st season of the F1 championship on hold, the action will finally get underway next weekend at the Red Bull Ring.

The newly-introduced homologation regulation, the decision to carry over the majority of the current cars to next year and the future introduction of cost cap urge teams to intensify their development until they are allowed to do that. However, the financial instability and uncertainty means that teams receive significantly less income.

Haas Team Principal Günther Steiner has revealed that his team will hold off any upgrades until the final calendar and the number of races are confirmed. He said: "In the moment we are not planning any upgrades until we know exactly what we are doing this year budget wise, and what we are doing race wise.”

The Bolzano-born said that teams need to know how many races will be run in 2020 in order to calculate how much they can spend on their development programme.

"I cannot spend money which I don't know if I've got. There is no point to do that in the moment. We have to be very cautious with what we are doing, because obviously you know the income is going down in having less races and having races without spectators. So, until it's very clear I'm very cautious,” he said.

One of Haas’ rivals, Renault is about to introduce a raft of upgrade at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix. The Enstone-based team’s boss Cyril Abiteboul said that Renault has an ambitious development plan for the disrupted season despite the financial issues teams are facing due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We've made some tough decisions during the break to allow us to do that, to secure the plan and we will execute that plan.”
The Frenchman has revealed that his team will introduce upgrade in Austria that had been originally planned for the third, fifth and sixth round of the original 2020 calendar.

“On the chassis side, the upgrades are coming. It's been a huge effort in internal production to get the package from race three, race five, race six – the initial numbering of the season, Vietnam, Netherlands and Barcelona – that will be on our car in Austria. Those races have obviously not happened but the performance that was supposed to come will be [at Spielberg],” he concluded.