Category Archives: Haas F1 team

Formula One: Haas F1 – VF16 Launched

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The VF-16, Haas F1 Team’s first racecar, has arrived. The car officially broke cover today via Haas F1 Team’s social media channels and Website. It hits the track Monday for the first day of preseason testing at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya.

The origin of naming the car “VF-16” goes back to the first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation, the VF-1, launched in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.

Now as chairman of Haas F1 Team, the “F1” moniker of that first machine takes on new significance as Haas joins the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, becoming the first American-led Formula One team in 30 years.

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“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” said Haas, who has grown Haas Automation into the largest machine tool builder in North America with more than $1 billion in annual sales. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”

The dark gray, light gray and red-toned livery of the VF-16 was derived from the scheme of Haas Automation’s complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. Approximately 1,300 employees encompass Haas Automation, with the Oxnard, California-based company exporting its machines to more than 60 countries. The VF-16 showcases Haas Automation’s commitment to technology and innovation to a passionate, global audience.

“Just as Haas Automation’s products continually evolve, becoming better and more efficient, our methodology behind the VF-16 was to make it the best evolution of a good F1 car,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “We’re a new team, so we looked at what the successful teams were doing to give us a baseline of the direction we needed to go with our design.

“We have very experienced designers who worked hard to develop all the little things from an aerodynamic perspective that, collectively, add up to a lot. And our technical partner, Ferrari, provided our power unit, and that really defined the rear end of the car and how big it needed to be.

“Our goal with this car is to score points,” Steiner states. “First, we need to go out there and show that we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and other teams in the paddock. Then, we want to score points. That is the ultimate goal.”

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Formula One: Haas F1 Team confirm launch plans and test line up

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The Haas F1 Team will debut its first racecar at 7:50 a.m. CET on Monday, Feb. 22 on the pit lane outside of its garage stall at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The simple and straightforward offering will feature Grosjean and Gutiérrez revealing the  Haas F1 Team’s inaugural racecar.

They’ll pose for photographs with the car for approximately 10 minutes before heading back into the garage, where they’ll join crew members in preparation for the track going opening at 9 a.m.

Haas F1 Team Driver Lineup for Barcelona Test No. 1 (Feb. 22-25)

Monday, Feb. 22: Grosjean

Tuesday, Feb. 23: Gutiérrez

Wednesday, Feb. 24: Grosjean

Thursday, Feb. 25: Gutiérrez

Haas F1 Team Driver Lineup for Barcelona Test No. 2 (March 1-4)

Tuesday, March 1: Gutiérrez

Wednesday, March 2: Gutiérrez

Thursday, March 3: Grosjean

Friday, March 4: Grosjean

Roman Grosjean Q&A:

How did you spend your off-season?

“After a long season it was important to me to spend time with my family and, obviously, to rest. I was involved in a few charity events in December and, after Christmas, enjoyed a family holiday. After that it was back to Europe. I’ve been doing some simulator work and my seat fit. Winter is really the time we get to work on our physical training. The hard work has started. I’ve been a bit achy sometimes, but I’m feeling good. I’m ready for the new season.”

What are your expectations for the test?

“The first thing for the test is to get the car to run and to work well from there. Hopefully, we can get a lot of mileage. This is a new team, so we need to get everyone to work together, all the engineers, mechanics and the drivers. We need to get as much data and knowledge as we can. It’s important to get the reliability sorted as early as possible because we don’t get much testing and we’re going straight to Melbourne.”

Do you have a certain protocol that you follow during a test, or is the protocol dictated by the team?

“It’s a little bit of both. As a driver, you want to be comfortable in your seat. You want the steering wheel to work as you want, along with the dashboard. You want the communication with your engineers to work. From the team side, of course, there is a protocol they want to follow. They want to do as much mileage as they can. It’s a big test, which we don’t get during the course of the season. They also want to make sure everyone works together. On the final day, you normally do a race simulation where you do a pit stop and you work on strategy. You want to see that you don’t have any problems so you’re ready to go to Melbourne.”

You spent five years with Lotus F1 Team. Obviously, that time allowed you to build a comfort level with the team. How do you work to find the same level of comfort with your new employer, Haas F1 Team?

“I felt a very warm welcome from day one with Gene (Haas) and Guenther (Steiner) and from everyone I’ve met in the team. It’s a nice spirit. It’s an American spirit. Everyone wants to go racing. It’s very exciting, as it’s a new challenge. It’s going to be something unique having an American Formula One team on the grid for the first time in 30 years. Driving the car out of the garage on day one will be unbelievable. There’s a lot to look forward to. I already feel comfortable in the team. Everyone is motivated and wants to get to the first test, and then the first race.”

Describe a lap around Barcelona.

“Barcelona is probably the track you know best in the world. You can name every part of the layout. There’s a long straight, then the first two corners right and left. You carry quite a good speed into them, and then there’s the famous turn three, which you try to take as flat out as possible. Turn four, there’s usually some front-locking. The hairpin into turn five, going down you don’t see the apex until late, so it’s a tricky corner. Turns seven and eight going up the hill lead to the very high-speed turn nine, which has a new curb on exit. Then you get to the hairpin at turn 10, which is very tricky under braking. Turns 11-15 are almost one corner – as a complex, it’s difficult to get a good flow around those corners. You need to get a good balance there. Turn 16 is the last corner and you want to try to stay as flat-out to prepare for the straight and get a good lap time.”

Formula One: Pirelli clarify ‘secret’ tyre compound change reports

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Ahead of the wet weather simulation test taking place at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France this week, Pirelli have offered a clarification on recent media reports surrounding ‘secret’ changes to tyre construction for the 2016 Formula One World Championship.

Pirelli have stated that with the exception of the Ultra Soft compound, new for the 2016 season, all compounds used in 2016 are identical to those raced throughout the 2015 season. Pirelli further confirmed that changes have been made in the construction of the tyre which may have an impact of the rate of degradation, but all teams are fully aware of these changes.  Teams attending the 2015 post season test in Abu Dhabi, all with the exception of the Haas F1 Team, have been able to complete simulations using compounds under the new construction.

Any changes made to tyre construction or compound have been implemented with complete team, FIA, and FOM awareness.

Formula One: Haas F1 Team yet to receive Ferrari Power Unit

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The Haas F1 Team will not take delivery of the 2016 Ferrari power unit until the 2nd week of February, the team have confirmed.

The team are on schedule in the build phase of preparations for the 2016 season with the chassis under construction in the Dallara facility in Varano de’ Melegari, Italy , then shipped to Banbury, UK, for final assembly and power unit installation ahead of the team launch and first pre-season test in Barcelona.

When discussing the 2016 Ferrari power unit Günther Steiner was reluctant to make any predictions around performance, commenting only that the same team who made significant leaps from the 2014 to 2015 power unit designed (estimated to be in the region of 100hp) are lead the 2016 development. The hope and expectation is that a similar gain will be found.

The Haas F1 team are not concerned over the delivery time line for the power unit, this was always the plan. That being said should there be any installation issues there will not be a great deal of time prior to the first test.

The focus of the 1st pre-season test for The Haas F1 Team more than any other team on the grid will be around bedding in systems and procedures, focusing on familiarisation for the team and drivers. The team will seek to focus on performance in the 2nd and final pre-season test.

Formula One: Haas F1 team livery: Expect the Unexpected

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“Expect the unexpected” was the response from Team Principle Günther Steiner when questioned around the final livery for The Haas F1 team 2016 contender.

Existing corporate partnerships the StewartHaas Racing team have established in NASCAR will not extend to the Formula One team in the short term and whilst the team are open to new partners joining the team, Steiner confirmed Haas Automation will in effect take the position of principle sponsor. This reconfirms the intentions set out by Gene Haas to increase European recognition and market share from the beginning of the team’s F1 project.

The corporate colours of Haas Automation are red and white. The team through social media,  earlier this week previewed team transporters for the European races in these colours suggesting they will maintain a similar feel, yet Steiner’s comments suggest fans could be in for something a little different.

Formula One: Scuderia Ferrari strategist joins Haas F1 Team

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Ruth Buscombe has left her role within the race strategy team at Ferrari to join the Haas F1 Team. In an expanded position of Chief Strategist Ruth will attend all races with the team and take overall responsibility for the development of the team’s strategy on track over a race weekend.  Guenther Steiner explained that the move came about following a recommendation from James Allison.

Whilst the Scuderia were sorry to see Ruth leave back in November 2015, they felt the move to The Haas F1 team would be preferable to a move to another competitor.

Ruth has returned from Maranello to the UK and is based at the Banbury facility forming part of the 110 strong team supported by a number of contractors across each of the Haas F1 team locations. Ruth Buscombe is the only permanent member of the Haas F1 team to have moved from Scuderia Ferrari.

Ruth joined Ferrari as a MEng graduate from the University of Cambridge having studied Aerospace and Aerothermal Engineering.  Her Master Thesis, which was conducted in conjunction with the FIA and supervised by Tony Purnell (Former Jaguar and Red Bull Team Principal), was on the effect of the DRS on the F1 Racing Spectacle.