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Honda website

MARCH 16, 2016

Kovalainen predicts difficult start for Haas

Heikki Kovalainen thinks F1's new American team Haas will have a "very difficult" debut season.

Haas, however, has entered the sport with a lot of confidence.

"Generally, this race in Australia can throw up some surprises," team driver Romain Grosjean, who has switched from Lotus, told France's Auto Hebdo.

"I think overall, we are not far from playing in the middle of the grid.

"We will try to score points as quickly as possible," he also told a French-language AFP report, "and from then we will aim higher: top five, wins."

Kovalainen, a former McLaren and Caterham driver, admits Haas' Ferrari connections will help.

In contrast, he told the Russian source Championat, "Caterham started from scratch and it was a disaster!"

Kovalainen continued: "I don't know all the details about their programme but I think it will be very difficult. Starting in formula one is not easy if you do not have huge resources.

"Take Red Bull for example," he explained. "They had a lot of resources and it still took them years to put together the right team."

Kovalainen also commented on the latest safety innovation in F1, the so-called 'halo' concept, that could make its debut next year amid controversy.

"I don't like the look of it," admitted the Finn, "but I also do not like people dying.

"I think now is the right time to explore options, but this concept specifically, in my opinion, is not right.

"'Halo' looks bad and I'm not sure it is sufficient enough protection. Perhaps we should go for a closed cockpit, like jets. Or some kind of solution integrated in the chassis design," he added.