By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
Haas became the first team to unveil its challenger for the 2018 Formula One season, with rendering showcasing the VF-18 on Wednesday.
In addition to the halo, the evolution of the new car is also without the shark fin, which was on its predecessor but banned for the upcoming season.
Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas F1 Team, stressed the focus of implementing the halo, while also creating a more stable platform.
“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.
“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.”
The American squad scored 47 points last season, 18 more than their debut season in 2016. Entering their third season in 2018, Gene Haas, founder and chairman of Haas F1 Team, believes the offseason work has strengthened the overall program.
“We eliminated a lot of the variables where we knew we were weak,” Haas said.
“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 VF-18 will take to the track for the first time during preseason testing at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya on February 26.
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