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. The Haas F1 Twitter account has 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.
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 include the monocoque, the survival cell, front-impact structures, roll-over structures, bodywork – except airboxes, exhausts and prescribed bodywork geometries – wings, the floor and the 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.
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 wind tunnel 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.
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.