For the first time in 30 years, a team based out of the United States is set to field a car in Formula One.
The Haas F1 Team released photos of its first Formula One machine Sunday morning, the VF-16. French racing driver Romain Grosjean and his Mexican teammate Esteban Gutierrez will use the car to race for points in the team’s inaugural season this year.
“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” said team founder Gene Haas. “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.”
“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 team principal Guenther Steiner. “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. 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.”
Grosjean and Gutierrez will alternate turns behind the wheel during this week’s four-day test at Barcelona, with Grosjean driving on Monday and Wednesday and Gutierrez on Tuesday and Thursday.
At the second Barcelona test from March 1-4, Gutierrez will be behind the wheel for the first two days while Grosjean will be at the controls to finish it off.