Haas F1 Team’s 2018 race car broke cover today across the organization’s social media platforms, and is expected to build upon the 47 points scored by last year’s car during the 2017 season.
Visually, the VF-18 boasts the halo cockpit protection system, a considerably smaller shark fin and a livery that honors Gene Haas’ very first Haas Automation CNC machine – gray with tones of red and black.
“The livery is a little bit of a return to what we had on our first car, the VF-16,” stated team principal Guenther Steiner. “Its look is clean and precise, just like the machine tools made by Haas Automation.”
As for what it meant to add the halo to the design of the car, according to Steiner, quite a lot of hard work.
“The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the halo. It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the halo could survive the mandated loads. The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the halo, and there’s a higher center of gravity simply because of the halo’s position. But everyone is in the same boat.”
Steiner then added that since the regulations remained very similar between 2017 and 2018, the VF-18 is “an evolution of our car from last year. It’s less about reinvention and more about refinement. You see elements we had from last year on the car this year.”
The VF-18 will make its circuit debut in Barcelona between February 26 – March 1, and then again March 6-9, prior to the season-opening race in Melbourne, Australia, March 25.