Haas Unveils VF-17 Challenger Online

[Photo courtesy Haas F1]

[Photo courtesy Haas F1]

Achieving one of the best finishes last season for a rookie formula one team, Hass F1 unveiled their VF-17 challenger for the 2017 year Sunday morning online before their first test of the season in Barcelona, Spain.

The term “VF” remains on the car, stemming from the word “vertical”, which is a designation term for a vertical mill. As chairman for the team, Gene Haas added the name, along with f1 last season to mean simply: “Very first one.” Now in his second season in the sport, Haas believes that there is a certain significance as his team prepares for their upcoming year.

“Being a Formula One participant brings a level of credibility that you just won’t get through traditional advertising,” says Haas, whose entry in 2016 became the first American Formula One team since 1986. “People are kind of ‘show me’ people, like show me what you can do and then I’ll believe in you. That was the initial concept – to convince people of our ability to do things others can’t, and I think that translates into being a machine tool builder. Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry and it’s what we strive for in motorsports. People see what we can do in Formula One, and people believe Haas Automation can build world-class machine tools.”

This year’s car, like all the other entries this year, were built on the idea of the new 2017 technical rule changes, which widens the front and rear tires and the front and rear wings along with a new diffuser, which is two inches higher than previous seasons. Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas, believes that some things have not changed, but the other two thirds he figures have made things better for a more competitive field.

“I think the pedal box is the same, but all the rest is very different from last year’s car,” said Steiner. “You always try to make a faster car, which is normally a lighter car. Now we can put on more ballast and get better weight distribution. The aero is completely new, as are the tires, so we needed to have some built-in adjustability. Aesthetically, the car has a more aggressive look. It’s lighter and more aerodynamically efficient. Everything we learned from our first car has been applied to our new car.”

The car itself has more of a darker kind of silver, along with tones of black, white and light gray, which incorporates the look of the Haas Automotive Corporation Line of vertical and horizontal machine centers, along with turning centers, rotary tables and indexers.

Romain Grosjean returns to the team for his second season, while Kevin Magnussen comes over from Renault, replacing Esteban Gutierrez. The car will go out on its shakedown lap later in the day before beginning the first winter testing session Monday through March 2nd at the Circuit de Catalunya.

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