New American F1 team Haas has launched its first car, the VF-16.
Haas is the first American team to take part in the championship since 1986 and is headed up by the founder of Haas Automation and NASCAR team owner, Gene Haas.
“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” Haas said. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide. Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice is the best way to grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand.”
The team’s close relationship with Ferrari means the car shares as many components as is allowed under the regulations with the recently-launched SF16-H, but the chassis itself has been manufactured by Italian company Dallara. It is powered by Ferrari’s V6 turbo power unit and also uses a Ferrari gearbox.
The livery was the source of much speculation over the winter and Haas has settled for a predominantly light grey and dark grey colour scheme with red detailing. The origin of the name VF-16 goes back to the first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation, the VF-1, launched in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.
The car completed its first lap on Saturday during a filming day at the Circuit de Catalunya and will be back on track on Monday when Romain Grosjean gets behind the wheel for the first day of official pre-season testing.
The team also released a promo video to accompany the launch.