It’s hard to believe that just twelve short months ago the all American Haas F1 Team was putting the finishing touches their first ever F1 contender to race in their inaugural Formula One season, before the first test of the season kicked off in Barcelona. They succeeded, firing up the Ferrari engine and peeling out of the garage at 10 a.m. local time on the first day of testing.
Now, here we are, one year on and history is about to repeat itself. Only their second season in the sport will see a significantly new set of regulations that will make this year’s racecar a drastic departure from the version the team built in 2016.
The 2017 car features an advanced aerodynamic package that will create a higher level of downforce via a longer nose, wider front wing, larger barge boards, the sidepods being pushed out, a lower and wider rear wing and a diffuser that expands 50 millimeters (two inches) in height and width. Augmenting these changes are wider tires from Pirelli, by 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) in the front and 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) in the rear.
After building a new car from scratch in 2016, Haas has done the same in 2017, but unlike last year, the team’s personnel are already assembled and, more importantly, have a year of experience working together. Its infrastructure, from the garage setup and the necessary equipment it houses to the trucks that transport said equipment from the team’s European base in Banbury, England, has been in place for more than a year, so the only new item that needed to be put together, was the car.
All of this is giving Gene Haas, founder and chairman, Haas F1 Team, hope that they will have a better season and improve on their 8th placed finish in 2016…
“I think with the knowledge we have, we should actually perform a little bit better this year,” he said. “If we can do a little bit better because our business model in Formula One allows us to operate more efficiently, we might be able to move up a position or two.”