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More than a B-team – the story so far of Formula 1’s newest team: Haas F1
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Haas F1
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  12 Jan 2016   |  12:27 pm GMT  |  49 comments

Haas F1 has passed the FIA’s mandatory crash test, which means its car is cleared to take part in winter testing ahead of the team’s Formula 1 debut at the Australian Grand Prix.

On Friday afternoon, the Haas F1 Twitter account announced that the team had, “Passed FIA crash tests. Next up testing.”

So with the news that F1’s newest squad has cleared the latest step on its path to the grid, a track littered with teams that tried and failed to get off the ground, we take a look at how Gene Haas’ eponymous outfit has made it this far.

XPB.cc Guenther Steiner Romain Grosjean Gene Haas

Fewer listed parts required

Haas F1 has a well-known close relationship with Ferrari that has led to the American squad being dubbed a “B-team” for the Scuderia. However, it still has to produce a number of listed parts itself in order to be considered an F1 constructor.

These are:

• Monocoque
• Survival cell
• Front-impact structures
• Roll-over structures
• Bodywork – except airboxes, exhausts, and prescribed bodywork geometries
• Wings
• Floor
• Diffuser

But the required listed parts have been drastically reduced in recent years, which allowed Haas F1 to put together its unique approach to F1. Ferrari will supply the remaining elements of the car – the power unit, gearbox and suspension (as well as smaller technical parts such as brake ducts), which reduces Haas F1’s R&D costs, while allowing the team access to proven Ferrari kit.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying Day - Monza, Italy

Chassis and aero

Long-time Italian chassis manufacturer, Dallara, is producing Haas F1’s first car and Gene Haas explained last year that he expected it to be “better” than Ferrari’s own effort.

He said: “I think our chassis is going to be substantially different in construction from the Ferrari one, because we’re just doing it separately.

“We think our chassis in some ways will be better than a Ferrari chassis because we’re using some more … I won’t say state of the art but we’re taking a different approach than Ferrari is and we think it’s probably a better design.

Haas F1’s relationship with Ferrari allowed it to use the Scuderia’s windtunnel to develop its aerodynamic concept, although the two outfits have been under scrutiny in recent months over this arrangement.

Mercedes asked the FIA to clarify the rules surrounding new teams without naming Haas F1 or Ferrari, but the governing body was satisfied no rules had been broken.

Budget and bases

The American team is reported to be operating with an annual budget of €100m and team principal Guenther Steiner is hopeful the squad can earn points in its debut season, where it is expected to run a yellow livery inspired by the famous Ferrari badge.

Guenther Steiner

He said: “We want to run in the midfield, mid-grid, and then progressively close up in races to where the points are.”

The team’s headquarters is at Haas’ base in Kannapolis, North Carolina, but it will also have an operation at the former Marussia factory in Banbury in the UK for the race team, as well as personnel working on designs in Italy to be close to Ferrari and Dallara.

Drivers

Romain Grosjean has gambled on Haas F1 and jumped ship from Lotus, despite the expected and now confirmed news that Renault would take over the Enstone team, as he hopes to secure a move to Ferrari if Kimi Raikkonen retires or is let go at the end of 2016.

Former Sauber driver, Esteban Gutierrez, who was a Scuderia reserve in 2015, fills the second seat, but still brings valuable experience from his 38 F1 races.

XPB.cc

Making the grid

The FIA accepted Haas F1’s application to join the F1 grid in April 2014 and the team was granted a place in the 2015 championship. But Gene Haas opted to postpone the squad’s entry until 2016 to ensure it did not collapse in its infancy, something that occurred to the last American outfit to be granted an F1 slot, US F1, back in 2010.

However, the recent changes to the 2016 F1 calendar that moved the start of the season, the Australian Grand Prix, from April 3 to March 20 caused some concern for the team, according to Steiner.

Australia start

He told Autosport that: “It hasn’t made things easier. But we’re not getting worried. It’s the same for everyone. It happened and you need to deal with it.

“Does it make it cheaper? No, but this is what we are dealing with. The project is on track and we’re confident we’ll have the car ready for testing.”

What do you expect from Haas F1 in 2016? Will it be competitive in its debut year? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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1

I think Haas entering F1 with their ‘Halferrari’ is in fact very good news for the sport. It’s going to be an interesting sub-plot throughout the season. Mr Haas’s achievements in motorsport are notable, but saying his chassis may be better than the Scuderias own efforts is bold to say the least. That would be a very impressive achievement for a brand new team, even one with such a large shopping trolley…

Still, F1 is no place for shrinking violets. I’m personally looking forward to Haas getting stuck in amongst a rejuvenated Red Bull and McLaren, an improving Torro Rosso and Manor, a massively motivated Renault works team not to mention the other established runners. Not forgetting the silver cars sailing away followed closely by, and occasionally squabbling with, the red ones.

Sounds pretty daunting to me. Have they underestimated the size of the task? I can’t wait to find out.

2

McHonda must be shaking in their boots, this Haas is likely to be a tough competitor in the midfield struggle.

3

hass’ budget is very modest even when considering the help from ferrari.

i don’t have a lot of faith in hass’, dallara’s or ferrari’s aero capability. because the aero on a f1 car is so specialised it’s unlikely a new team will have class leading aero. it takes a lot of experience in f1 to hit the sweet spot. even williams with 40 years experience can’t produce a car with good aero.

4

Budget. I guess he could take advantage of his existing NASCAR and Haas Automation administrative, operational, and technical infrastructures (most at the international level) to provide support. What? Purchasing/inventory, accounting/auditing, payroll, human resources, legal, travel, logistics, information technology, technical services, marketing/sales, construction, et al.

Areo and design. Think of Dallara as the Zombies of Constructor’s (ZOC), and HAAS F1, with the likes of Rob Taylor (Chief Designer), and Ben Agathangelou (Chief Aerodynamicist) the conquerors, reigning in the ZOC’s to a successful design! 🙂

5

The hass team will last all of two seasons.

6

Don’t give anyone stock market advice.

7

Based on what?

Do you know their business plan? This isn’t HRT – it’s a serious business using F1 as a platform to expand its market for machine tools globally.

8

No, really? It is a serious business? Wow, thank you for stating the obvious. As a financial analyst, some of us prove capable of discernment for things which are not obvious. In two years time, we shall see if the statement held. Till then, have a nice day, and thank you once again for stating that which is most obvious.

9

The interesting thing will be if McLaren doesn’t make significant progress. Forget points. If Haas even finishes ahead of McLaren but out of the points, the hue and cry will be extraordinary. Doubtless some will say that the FIA allowed Ferrari to have a B-team in order to gang up on McLaren and the other teams.

The reality is that all of the bonus money grandee teams, McLaren is the only one that doesn’t effectively have a B-team: RBR/STR, MB/Manor and now (at least arguably) Ferrari/Haas. And given that McLaren has such vast wealth and influence that it can afford to run essentially unsponsored cars, I would imagine that RD could have brokered a deal for Honda to supply Manor with engines as part of a McLaren/Manor technical partnership.

Opportunity missed. Then again, McLaren had to work a bit to stay ahead of Manor last season; it wouldn’t do to have the backmarkers in with a chance to beat the grandees using the same power plant. So I say again: if Haas and/or Manor even finish ahead of McLaren in ANY race, it will be earthshaking. If those teams score even a point if McLaren doesn’t, the weeping, gnashing of teeth, and rending of clothes in Woking will be audible here in New York. And if the smallest and newest teams both manage to finish ahead of McLaren consistently, the mushroom cloud over Woking will be visible here as well.

10

I wish them well, and I know that Gene Haas has a good track record elsewhere – but F1 history is littered with people who thought they knew better than those who’ve been doing it for decades, and then discovered that they didn’t. Following the self-declaration that its bought-in Dallara chassis will be better than Ferrari’s – the most successful team in F1 history and currently the second-fastest – anything less than second in the championship would by implication be a disappointment. Why ramp up expectations unnecessarily high? I seem to recall BAR signing up the reigning world champion in mid-1998 and predicting that that they’d win their first race the following year – and we all remember how that one worked out (clue: if they’d scored any fewer points in their first season, their tally would have been negative…) Perhaps Haas would do better to ramp down expectations so that we might be pleasantly surprised if it’s on terms with established teams from the outset.

11

*sigh*. Do people just not read anymore, [mod]

No one said the Haas F1 car will be better than the Ferrari. Gene Haas said: “We think our chassis in some ways will be better than a Ferrari chassis … we’re taking a different approach than Ferrari is and we think it’s probably a better design”.

Also? Dallara isn’t designing the chassis. They’re the construction company. A couple of reasonably well-known F1 designers are designing the chassis and aero. They’ve worked for teams like Jaguar, Red Bull and Ferrari.

Finally, Gunther Steiner has very publicly said that they’re hoping for Q2 in Melbourne, and points would be nice– a far cry from your reinterpretation.

12

Let’s wish them luck and if they can beat Ferrari then even better.

As for the colours you’d be a brave fool to bet against the colours of the Haas tool company after all that’s what he’s ultimately in F1 for,to promote that business and I don’t see any yellow in that logo.

As a general observation the entry into F1 by Haas is great

13

I could see the car having Haas colors mixed with yellow…so red, white, black, and yellow!

Either mostly Haas colors with some yellow accents; or mostly yellow with black and/or white side pods and wings, with big red Haas lettering on the sides.

And then an American flag in there somehow too, maybe similar to Rossi’s rear wing end plates at COTA.

14

There ‘s nothing more solid then a quote ” success breed success ” & Gene Haas is up there amongst it, team up with the winner in know how point of view add the Yank’s marketing that is second to none in the world we live, one feels a continuation of success breed success to continue Mr Haas way.

15

Although Stewart/Haas is a successful team, they have very little experience or knowhow that is relevant to F1 competitiveness. They prepare Chevrolets to race in NASCAR and they buy in their engines from another team. What do they know about open wheel chassis designs, aerodynamics and downforce? They are in a far weaker position than Prodrive would be, yet Prodrive’s F1 application was rejected.

Although Alex says they are more than a B-team, their best hope of survival is in fact to be just that. Even though they have the Ferrari power unit, transmission and suspension, they have no chance of competitiveness without further (and covert) help from Ferrari on aerodynamics and downforce.

Why does anybody think they could compete with Sauber when they have no experience nor knowledge of F1 aerodynamics?

16

If you think that Stewart/Haas is a team that “prepares Chevrolets to race”, you know nothing about a NASCAR. I’m not saying that Haas is or is not up to the task of “preparing a Formula One car to race”, but that ain’t no Chevrolet Bubba. What do they know about open wheel design? Beats me. Aerodynamics and down force are a part of NASCAR too Bubba or is it Biff. NASCAR simply has stricter limits and profile patterns that keep the cars closer in competition and control cost. Your lack of respect is shackled by your ignorance and arrogance toward other racing categories. You’re so impressed with the size of the bulge in F1 pockets (their wallets… get your minds out of the ..) that you’re not willing to wait and see what develops. No doubt… Haas has a challenge. Who knows.. he might be planting a seed for another Ford team or GM or Apple team… how about team Google. Why not? I laughed at an energy drink team a decade ago.

17

Grat

‘They’ is the team. The trouble with all this is that it presupposes that by hiring a few star names you can build a competitive team overnight. Surely we have seen innumerable times that this simply isn’t the case. A great team is made up of a huge number of people, most of whom nobody has ever heard of. The star names may be very good, but without their backup team they are nothing. That’s why it took Ross Brawn several years to turn the Brackley team into a world-beater, patiently chipping away with new appointments at all levels until the job was done properly from top to bottom, but there’s only one Ross Brawn. None of the new teams established in recent years has been even respectable, let alone competitive – they all hired star names with apparently great track records, but they all achieved nothing – because it was their teams that had been top-class, not the star name figureheads.

18

Who is “They”? Gene Haas? I doubt Toto Wolff could design an F1 car– Nor could Marchionne or Arrivabene. “They” hire people who have experience designing F1 cars (Rob Taylor, Ben Agathangelou) and people who have experience building teams (Gunther Steiner), and people who have experience racing F1 cars (Grosjean, Gutierrez).

Then they contract out the construction of the chassis to Dallara, fill it full of parts labeled “Ferrari”, and instead of needing a team of engineers to design a gearbox, or suspension parts, or even a wiring loom that won’t fall apart, they just RTFM (Read the Ferrari Manual). That way they can focus their budget on aero design, and given the limitations on aero testing, they’ll easily be able to compete with the rest of the grid.

Now, if Haas can figure out how to get the FIA to let him use the WindShear tunnel, I expect A) the other teams to scream bloody murder and B) Haas F1 to be competing for podiums. Windshear was a major reason for Lotus’s success at the end of the V8 era.

19

“What do they know about open wheel chassis designs, aerodynamics and downforce?”

1) Chief Designer – Rob Taylor (Red Bull and Jaguar)

2) Chief Aerodynamicist – Ben Agathangelou (Renault, McLaren, Tyrrell and Ferrari)

3) Haas owns Windshear, the only 100% scale 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel (WT) in North America, and previously used by F1 teams

4) + plus other known names in the F1 paddock

20

Robb, the bare facts are there budget is a quarter of that of Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull and McLaren and about half of Renault and Williams. A Force India and Sauber type budget with no experience does not bode well for points scoring.

21

[mod] if Haas doesn’t score another point, which I doubt, they sure made a lie out of a lot or arrogant statement s made here. If wasn’t for the most boring qualification modification ever made in the sport, who knows what Haas could have done.

22

I would say they do have some experience in F1 aerodynamics. I believe they hired Ben Agathangelou and from what I understand he recently worked for The Scuderia and also Red Bull and Jaguar before that.

23

Pretty sure they aren’t using their NASCAR team to design the F1 car.

TL:DR: They hired people.

24

Robb, I am under no such impression, I am simply pointing out that the only prior experience that the Haas team has is largely irrelevant to F1.

If we could ‘rest assured’ that Mr Haas is able to buy in all the necessary knowledge and expertise, we might as well say that anybody with enough money can enter F1 with a new team, but we have seen that fail in the past.

My own expectation is that the new team will do well to beat Manor, and will be able to compete with Sauber only if they receive more help from Ferrari than might be visible to the naked eye.

25

You seem to be under the impression that the Stewart/Haas NASCAR team is entering Formula 1. It is not. This is a new team being formed by a man who just happens to also own a NASCAR team. You can rest assured he is building this team around people with open wheel experience (note that the team principle is not named Billie-Bob, but Gunther). I do admit, the image of some NASCAR guy sitting at the CFD computer designing a Formula 1 car’s aerodynamics is rather entertaining, but pretty unrealistic.

26

They have a baseline potential relative to the competition which is higher than the previous new entrants of Caterham (Lotus), Virgin (Marussia) and HRT had, and the collaboration with Ferrari can’t hurt. At the same time, there’s more to it than producing a decent car, there’s also running it, getting the best out of it, making it reliable and getting into the swing of managing tyres, strategy and pitstops. Even with experienced drivers and technical staff it will take a bit of time to bed everything in for a new team, even if the car is reasonably competitive. I’d be surprised if they can topple the likely upper midfield of Force India, STR and Williams (assuming Force India haven’t run out of cash and STR’s 2015 wasn’t a flash in the pan) but being on par with Sauber (who are clearly struggling financially and, as a result, technically) shouldn’t be hard. The fights further down the order look interesting for 2016, with Manor presumably stepping up, Haas getting going and Sauber looking to stablise and McLaren hoping for big progress.

27

Red and Black are the Haas Corporate Colours. I wouldn’t read anything into the race team livery based on that. As for trucks being red well how easy and, cheap, is it to do a vinyl wrap livery on a truck….

Yellow may reinforce the Ferrari link but don’t bet against a Red White and Blue theme for team US. In fact don’t bet against anything….Personally I think the F1 circus needs more purple and block themeing. a metallic purple car, now that would be……….

28

Wasn’t a good car (to say the least), but always liked the purple livery of Simtek.

29

Hmm, so they are going to design a better chassis than Ferrari because they know something the Scuderia don’t? Sounds a bit unlikely to me. The Grosjean aspect has me thinking, Romain must have known that Renault were coming in, he must also know something about the Ferrari situation that we don’t. The move makes no sense otherwise, would he go from a works team to Haas who will not be leaving the mid field anytime soon without something concrete?

30

I normally stay away from predictions (I learned from Sebee what a bad idea it is) but I will go for P 16 for Grosjean and P 18 for Esteban on the grid at Melbourne.

31

The article says “in some ways will be better than a Ferrari chassis ” it doesn’t say it is better overall than the Ferrari chassis 😉

32

I think the idea that they have done anything better than Ferrari with zero experience is very unlikely.

33

TimW

Do yiy think he’ll be at Ferrari mid season taking over from Kimi & JAV at Haas ?

34

BK, I think he must have some sort of potential deal worked out with Ferrari. Maybe Kimi has a performance clause in his contract that he must score a certain percentage of Seb’s points by mid season, and Ferrari have an option with their friends at Haas to take Romain if need be? Wild speculation of course, but it is the only scenario that makes sense of Grosjean leaving Renault. Jev would be a good choice for Haas.

35

JAV is JEV

36

Günter Steiner was great as the bad guy in “A history of violence” !

37

Their budget would be on the level of Sauber for 2015. I would be really surprised if they win points in their first race, though they have two relatively experienced drivers. Let’s hope they make a good start. One thing that surprised me are the budgets of McLaren and Red Bull. They appear higher than Ferrari’s for 2015 and yet they did not have to produce a power unit.

38

Haas will be a Tour De Force in 2016.

39

Alex something is happening re posting on articles. Things just disappear especially on articles which are written by you. Are you on a different software format to the rest of us 😀 it’s quite frustrating watching posts dissappear a multitude of times. Do we need help from Murder & Scully.

I bet this gets posted while the others went Gaga.

40

On a technical note – my posts also just disappear! Only when I “reply” to an existing comment does it sometimes “stick”! Great Blog though!

Good luck to Haas F1: Just that Dallara chassis makes me feel nervous – they don’t have a great track-record in F1 and that’s putting it mildly.

I expect Haas to be duelling with Sauber and Manor at the back of the field – though I believe the field will be bunched up a lot more – and points will be there for the taking by everyone on crazy days when it rains, safety cars etc.

41

See it worked as soon as I sent the comedy post 😀

42

Yes Haas will be up there & even ahead of Force India & Sauber. Good news regarding British Free view DC & Jake Humphreys company are in charge of Ch4 F1 so DC will be back on screen 🙂

43

“Long-time Italian chassis manufacturer, Dallara, is designing Haas F1’s first car and Gene Haas explained last year that he expected it to be “better” than Ferrari’s own effort.”

Incorrect – Dallara are building the chassis, but Haas are designing it.

“it is expected to run a yellow livery inspired by the famous Ferrari badge”

Not so likely given they’ve been showing off a lot of black, red and white “stuff” (race trucks inclusive) along with Renault’s return – who have more history with yellow.

44

Well, Im sure whoever wrote the article is part of Jame’s staff and they have better info than the rest of us

45

Rob Taylor (Red Bull and Jaguar) is their chief designer and Ben Agathangelou (Renault, McLaren, Tyrrell and Ferrari) is their chief aerodynamicist…

46

I believe James has more inside info than most of us.

47

I too will usually tend to agree with James, however me thinks JC has a point here.

48

Except this isn’t an article by James…

49

I’m more inclined to believe James who knows people within the teams and industry rather than you looking at the colour scheme of their logo JC, no offence.

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