Tag Archives: Haas F1 team

Formula One: Haas Automation Putting ‘Partner’ in Partnership

Haas

The Haas F1 Team give insight into the true nature of the team’s relationship with it’s title partner Haas Automation.

Haas Factory Outlet in Barcelona Assists Haas F1 Team During Test

our race team is testing in another country. It’s after normal business hours. You need to machine some parts. And you need to do it now.

This situation could prove problematic or, at least, time consuming for most any other race team. But Haas F1 Team is not any other race team.

The newest participant in the FIA Formula One World Championship and the first American-led Formula One entry in 30 years, Haas F1 Team is currently testing at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya to prepare for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix March 20 in Melbourne. And as part of that test, the organization is learning about its racecar and equipment, exhaustively trying it all out to avoid any malfunctions when on-track activity begins in Melbourne.

As part of that process, the team is finding better ways to do things. Enter the Haas Factory Outlet (HFO) in Barcelona.

Through the first of two scheduled test sessions beginning Feb. 22 and ending March 4 at the 4.655-kilometer (2.89-mile), 16-turn circuit, Haas F1 Team has literally called on its partnership with Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America.

Specifically, the call went to the HFO in Barcelona, located about 30 minutes from the track. Needed were some modifications to the team’s wheel-gun sockets, which allowed for pit stop practice on Feb. 25. Also necessary was some manufacturing of components related to the wheel nuts on the racecar, as well as modifications to the team’s pit equipment.

Haas Automation machine tools used for these tasks included:

  • The UMC-750, a 5-axis vertical machining center
  • The ST-30, a CNC lathe
  • The VF-2, a vertical machining center

The quick work was perhaps the best example of showcasing Haas Automation’s product, but also its customer service, available across a worldwide footprint encompassing more than 60 countries and 1,300 employees.

“We are proving Haas Automation is more than just a sponsor – they’re a true partner in building our organization,” said Guenther Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team. “On very short notice, the local HFO here in Barcelona was able to put skilled technicians to work and manufacture and modify the parts we needed. We’ve achieved a high level of efficiency by tapping into the resources of Haas Automation, and it’s allowing us to make the most of our test.”

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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: Haas F1 Team yet to receive Ferrari Power Unit

HaasCarBay

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

Haas

“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

Ruth

 

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.

Formula One: F1 vs. Nascar

Nascar

With the Formula One close season having taken hold, fans craving that motorsport fix often start to explore other racing series.  The 2016 Nascar season kicks off in a little over one month’s time and through a series of short films complied by Mobil 1 The Grid we explore the merits of the series and take a look at areas in which Nascar has the jump on F1.

Guiding Mobil 1 The Grid through this series of films is the Stewart-Haas Racing team, any Formula One fan questioning the credibility of the Haas F1 Team 2016 entry would do well to pay attention here. The shear scale of Stewart-Haas Racing operation is nothing short of breath-taking. The frenetic nature of the Nascar schedule and the teams 4 car line up means that at any given time, the team can have up to 60 race cars moving through the facility. The operation exacts the same if not greater levels of precision and commitment seen through F1.

 

Through levels of team access unseen in Formula One, crew team member James  Keener explains his multiple roles within the Stewart Haas Racing team and the dedication given to not only find success, but continually improve.  On the face of it the technology seen in this film may feel somewhat antiquated when compared to an F1 pitstop, but through standardising process and machinery the series have managed to ensure a process remains relatable to the customer and any focus on improvement is on the individual rather than spending money to find an extra tenth of a second. Perhaps F1 could learn from these standardised approaches.

 

 

Taking a look through the Stewart Haas Racing paint shop, we get our first indication of what the Haas F1 Racing team livery could look like. The answer pretty much anything! Unlike F1, Nascar offers it’s teams a freedom to change car paint schemes and sponsors on a race by race basis. Teams and drivers are known more by their racing numbers rather than the colours of the car, something F1 has started to emulate in over the past few seasons.  In the case of Stewart Haas Racing, the team has secured a series of long term partners, Mobil 1 being one of them. Through the livery freedom afforded to teams, cars offer partners a tool to get involved in promotional activities over the course of a season. This flexibility in colour scheme and length of agreement can be attractive to sponsors, an area in which F1 appears to be increasingly struggling.

 

 

Nascar has in the past been perceived by some as antiquated in its approach to safety when compared to other racing series. This perception could not be further from the truth. Nascar is dedicated to continuously raising the bar for the driver and the fan. Working closely with the teams and race venues great moves have been taken to reduce risk without impacting the show.

 

 

Finally, Mobil 1 The Grid profiles Danica Patrick. The first lady of Nascar. A true ambassador for the series and for women in motorsport. With the support of the Stewart Haas Racing team Danica Patrick has a established herself as a formidable competitor and within s series in which race craft is key is continually building towards delivering major success for the team. F1 teams would do well to look at long term support Stewart Haas Racing has offered Danica Patrick and how this commitment is paying off.

 

 

Nascar ignores the backroom politics and is fully focused on making the show the best it can be for its fans. With levels of access unheard of in the F1 community at a price that won’t break the bank, when you are making your motorsport holiday fix plans for 2016, Nascar deserves serious consideration.

Formula One: Where next for Graeme Lowdon?

Lowdon

After battling to bring the Manor Marussia team to the F1 grid in 2015, Graeme Lowdon and John Booth officially terminated their agreements with the team on November 20th  , leaving Steven Fitzpatrick, Abdulla Boulsien, and Vincent Casey as the remaining registered directors of the team. At this time, it is not clear if the name Manor will leave the team with Graeme and John, but it is understood a name change was discussed in a recent strategy group review. It should also be noted a holding company Just Racing is registered alongside Manor Grand Prix Racing at the team headquarters in Banbury.

Both Graeme Lowdon and John Booth are highly respected figures in the F1 paddock, as is the racing pedigree of Manor. Until a recent interview for Sky Sports it was believed Lowdon and Booth came as a pair, and the partnership would be unlikely to be seen in F1 in the near future. However, during the interview suggestion was made that Graeme Lowdon may be joining another team on the grid in a new capacity. In addition, the launch of the ‘@realmanor’ twitter handle suggests the name may continue to be used in the future away from the current team.

With a future as part of the team formally know as Manor Marussia seemingly out of the question, this article will explore the possible new home on the 2016 grid for Graeme and the likelyhood of each.  It has been assumed that any new role would be for a UK based team, and that despite questionable management decisions made at Red Bull Racing in recent seasons, management remain supportive of the current structure. Given the changes with the Renault F1 team a move towards Enstone has also been disregarded at this time.

Williams F1 Team:

Despite finishing 3rd in the 2015 Constructors Championship the Williams F1 Team and drivers have voiced disappointment with the team performance, seemingly unable to extract that final element of performance required to mount a genuine challenge for the top step. This coupled with a number of blunders in pitstop procedures and rumours of senior management moving to new challenges with the Haas F1 Team, perhaps the pragmatic no nonsense racing approach adopted by Graeme Lowdon would sit well alongside the commercial savvy of Claire Williams.

Sahara Force India F1 Team:

Change in team branding and possibly ownership is expected in the near future, Graeme Lowdon and even the Manor brand could offer racing pedigree and a steady hand during a possibly lively management period.

Haas F1 Team:

Success in F1 comes through experience. Graeme Lowdon has highly relevant experience to any new team joining the sport, he knows how to run a team on a budget and optimise all resources available. He also has practical experience of working with Scuderia Ferrari and knows the Haas UK headquarters well.

Mclaren Honda:

Ron Dennis has publically stated the team will be making a series imminent management changes, it is possible the team may again look to split the role of Team Principle bringing in a head such as Graeme Lowdon could be bring a fresh perspective on how to approach racing, and reduce the burden of responsibility on Éric Boullier.

In conclusion, it would be possible to draw sound rationale for any of the afore mentioned teams to be keen on attracting Lowdon’s services. The question should also be which prospect would be appealing to him. Outside of motorsport Graeme Lowdon is a successful entrepreneur, co founding Nomad Digital, providers of Wifi and wireless systems in transportation networks. His success away from the F1 grid allows him a security that he does not ‘need’ the sport.  Either way it is highly unlikely any announcement will be made until the new year, but of the teams mentioned the most likely would seem to be either the Haas F1 Team in a bid to further strengthen the management structure or what could be a very exciting challenge with Force India.

That being said those fashion aware amongst you may have noticed since leaving the Manor Massuisa team Graeme elected to wear blue in most public appearances. Which team wears blue?

Formula One – Letter of Intent Signed between Group Renault & Gravity Motorsports – Lotus F1 Team

Press Release

Renault have this morning confirmed signature on a letter of intent regarding the potential acquisition of the Lotus F1 team. At this time there has been no formal public response from the Lotus F1 Team of Gravity Motorsport, but it is likely this notification will lead to the sale of the team which should serve to resolve the immediate cash flow issues faced by the team.

In the short press release from Group Renault, a keen emphasis is placed on the long association Renault have with Formula One, it can be expected this history will place a significant role in the rebranding of the Enstone based team.

The announcement makes no reference to the relationship between Red Bull Racing and Renault, with the latter formally under supply agreement for 2016. Further news on this should be expected in the coming days and weeks.  No mention has been made around the Power Unit the team will use in 2016, logically it can be assumed the team will run the Renault unit, despite agreements in place with Mercedes Benz. Renault have elected to focus power unit developments on the 2016 program rather than introducing upgrades through the token system in 2015, no doubt significant strides will be made in 2016 regarding performance and reliability.

Sponsors and Driver Line up developments will be of particular interest, with Renault likely to transfer Infiniti and Total Agreements from Red Bull Racing to the Renault team.

Pastor Maldonardo has been announced as a 2016 driver for the Lotus F1 team, the Venezuelan brings substantial national backing to team in the form of PDVSA branding. It will be interesting to see if the team which will act under a new legal entity maintain this contracted commitment.

Romain Grosjean is expected to announce his departure from the team on tomorrow moving to the newly formed Haas F1 team. Possible replacements include Esteban Ocon & Jolyon Palmer. It should also be noted with the possible departure of Red Bull Racing from the sport Daniel Riccardo, Daniil Kvyat, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz may also be seeking a seat in 2016.