For a new team on the grid, Haas brings a lot of known elements to back up its VF-16 challenger.
It has a technical partnership with Ferrari, and has taken advantage of the new ‘listed parts’ regulations to obtain a number of key components direct from Maranello, as well as a power unit and gearbox supply. The chassis itself also carries a pedigree, having been constructed by Dallara through another technical partnership.
As a result, the All-american team has a distinctly Italian racing car, featuring many Ferrari styling cues, including a similar style of nose to last year’s SF15-T.
Haas has an up-to-date supply of Ferrari engines too, unlike the year-old units being used by Toro Rosso this season.
The car is the first entry from an all-new team since Lotus, Virgin and Hispania Racing all entered the sport back in 2010.
New team principal Gunther Steiner – formerly of Red Bull/ Jaguar – said the team was targeting top 10 finishes from the start.
“Our goal with this car is to score points,” said Steiner. “First, we need to get out there and show we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and the other teams in the paddock. Then we want to score points.
“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 with our design. We have very experienced designers who worked very hard to develop little things from an aerodynamic perspective.”
The car’s moniker – VF-16 – stems from the VF-1 title that team founder Gene Haas gave to the first machine manufactured by his CNC business in 1988. The VF stands for ‘Very First’.