The Haas VF16 has made its public debut for the first time today ahead of this weeks pre-season test in Barcelona. The first American F1 team in 30 years will take to the circuit tomorrow for the first time, with team owner Gene Haas excited about the venture ahead.
“From an international standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” he 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 have developed the car in conjunction with resources shared with engine partner Ferrari, with most of the aero work being done in-house at the teams factory. The team are targeting points finishes in the opening rounds, something which might not be far off if they are able to put in the milage over the course of testing.
Romain Grosjean will be the first to drive it on Monday then on Wednesday, whilst teammate Esteban Gutierrez will drive it on Tuesday and Thursday. At the second Barcelona test next week, Gutierrez will be behind the wheel for the first two days whilst Grosjean will close out the teams final pre-season preparations before the season opener in Australia at the end of March.