Haas F1 Team become the first team to reveal their 2018 FIA Formula 1 World Championship challenger, the VF-18.
The American team are first to showcase what F1 cars will look like with the new Halo cockpit protection device will be fitted on, which will be made mandatory this year.
Haas’ livery incorporates the livery from their previous two entries in 2016 and 2017. A white body work returns to the car, taken from their first ever car they entered the sport in two years ago. The front nose and wing features a grey and red colour style which looks similar to their 2017 livery.
The VF-18 is an evolution of the VF-17, where Haas achieved an eighth place finish in the constructors’ championship last year with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen. The VF featured on the cars’ name in a tribute to Haas Automation‘s first CNC machinery they created in 1988.
Haas’ F1 chairman, Gene Haas says promoting their brand in F1 helps showcase their brand and their ability to create machinery.
“People see what we can do in Formula One and people believe Haas Automation can build world-class machine tools,” said Haas.
“Being a Formula One participant brings a level of credibility that you just won’t get through traditional advertising.”
Haas says that they aim to close the gap to the top teams having worked on areas where they were weak over the season.
“We eliminated a lot of the variables where we knew we were weak. We’ve focused on what it’s going to take to get our car to be consistent and close that gap to the top teams.”
The Halo featured on the car is a talking point, but also the lack of sharkfin which has been removed due a change of the FIA Regulations. Now, a small black fin replaces the area surrounding the cooling tower of the car to the rear wing.
Haas’ Team Principal Gunther Steiner says the aerodynamicists have done a good job to work on the car with the halo onboard.
“The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the halo,” said Steiner.
“It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the halo could survive the mandated loads.”
“The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the halo, and there’s a higher center of gravity simply because of the halo’s position. But, everyone is in the same boat.”
“The regulations stayed pretty stable between 2017 and 2018, so the VF-18 is an evolution of our car from last year. It’s less about reinvention and more about refinement. You see elements we had from last year on the car this year.”
Steiner also commented on the positive side of their 2017 season but hopes that 2018 will be the year they will push up the field.
“Our 2017 car was actually pretty good, but we didn’t always get the best out of it, and that’s what we aimed to change in 2018. We got the car as light as possible to carry more ballast. We were able to do a better job of putting the weight where we wanted it.”