(Image credit to: Haas Ferrari F1 Team)
The team revealed images of their third F1 car, the VF-18, which it describes as a refinement of its 2017 car.
With no major changes in regulations, much of the car appears similar to that of last year’s entry, with the most notable exceptions being the inclusion of the halo head protection devise and the absence of the shark fin and T-wing aero devices.
“The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the halo,” said team principal Guenther 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 centre 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.
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.”
Haas finished eighth in last year’s constructors’ championship, just six points behind Toro Rosso and 10 points behind Renault. Drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who continue at the team in 2018, finished 13th and 14th in the drivers’ championship.
Once again, the team will be using parts provided by Ferrari, who also supply the team with engines. Team founder Gene Haas says the team will use Ferrari as a bench mark going into its third season in F1.
“It’s no secret we use a lot of Ferrari equipment, so we’re using them as our baseline,” he said. “We need to be within a half-second of the Ferraris in order for us to be competitive.
We weren’t last year. I would say we were a second to a second-and-a-half slower than the Ferraris. Overall, we were maybe two seconds off the pole qualifiers, so we need to knock a second off that if we really want to be competitive.
We’ve eliminated a lot of variables where we knew we were weak, and we knew where we needed to focus. We need to be able to go to the majority of the races and put the car don on the track and be fast. We’ve focused on what it’s going to take to get the cars to be consistent and to close that gap between the top cars.”
Last year, Haas had at least one car retire from seven of the 20 races, including a double retirement in Australia at the start of the year.
Article Written By: Bethonie Waring
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