Haas F1 Team Unveils VF-16 in Barcelona
Haas F1 Team unveiled the VF-16, the first American Formula 1 entry in nearly 30 years, Monday morning at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain before participating in Day 1 of the 2016 Formula 1 pre-season testing. Haas F1 Team is the first American-led Formula 1 team since 1986, and the launch of the car and their participation at the pre-season tests mark significant milestones on their journey to compete in Formula 1.
The origin of the name VF-16 comes from Haas Automation’s first CNC machine, the VF-1, released in 1988. The “V” is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill and the “F1” was added by Haas Automation owner, Gene Haas, to unofficially designate the machine as the “very first one,” and also as a clever play on words – F1 being short for Formula 1. The car’s namesake plus the grey and red color scheme it shares with Haas CNC machines highlight Haas Automation’s role as the “Official Machine Tool” to Haas F1 Team.
Romain Grosjean completed 31 laps in the VF-16, gaining valuable data about the car for the team, while turning in a fastest lap time of 1:28.399 in Monday’s session. Although the team had to react to a front wing issue during the test, Romain Grosjean says he is happy with the car.
“It was a pretty exciting day,” states Grosjean. “The morning went very well until we had a small front wing failure. It compromised our afternoon a little, but it was good that we could put some laps on the car later. We don’t have any big problems. I’m very happy with the first day. It’s been a really good start for the team. It’s been a positive day. Of course, you always want more and more, but I think the most important thing is that I’m happy with the car. The first impression is really good. The car balance is there straight away.”
Esteban Gutierrez drove his first laps in the VF-16 on Tuesday, completing 79 laps, with a fastest lap time of 1:25.524. Gutierrez will drive again on Thursday, after Romain Grosjean has his second run during Wednesday’s test session. After a four-day break that separates the two test sessions, Gutierrez will lead off on the second four-day testing session on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Grosjean driving on Thursday and Friday. The team will then have two weeks to make final adjustments before making their debut in Formula 1 at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 20.
Photo credit, LAT Photographic