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Steiner: 'Rival teams justifying their incompetence by attacking us'

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In light of calls from several teams to investigate Haas' technical relationship with Ferrari, Guenther Steiner has once again defended the legality of the team's collaboration with the Scuderia.

The impressive performance to date of Haas' new VF-18, both in pre-season testing and in Melbourne last weekend, has prompted some to label the car a Ferrari 'clone'.

Steiner has hit back at the comments however, insisting they had no substance and were rooted in a lack of understanding of the VF-18's design.

"They see ghosts," Steiner told the BBC.

"(They say): 'The car looks very similar to a Ferrari from last year.' So should we have copied their car, which is behind us, or should we go with a car that goes pretty quick? Give me an answer to that."

While Steiner agreed that Haas' charger had the same wheelbase as the Scuderia's 2018 SF741-H, the Italian team manager explained the technical reasons for the similarities.

"We have got the same (wheelbase) as Ferrari. We have to because we have the same suspension - why would we do it different?" Steiner said.

"It's logic. So it cannot be last year's Ferrari because it has the same wheelbase as this year's Ferrari.

"My point is, if they have got a problem with that, I show them the way to the FIA. They can file a protest."

Steiner believes there would be a lot less noise from its mid-field rivals if the team was not performing well.

"If you have to justify your incompetence, attack is the best defence," he said.

"If somebody has double the amount of money and is behind us, whoever owns the team should be asking, 'what are we doing here?'

"It's competition. Maybe next year we are last. When you speak, you need to have an argument you can back up, not just assumptions."

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