Back to where it all began. Haas have beaten their rivals to the punch by becoming the first team to reveal their 2020 Formula 1 challenger, the VF-20, which marks a return to their original base colours of grey, red and black for their livery.
Last season was one to forget for Haas, the American team expecting to head the midfield after a strong fifth place in the constructors’ championship, only to end up with an unpredictable car that Romain Grosjean deemed was not even good enough for a museum.
So it’s a fresh start for Haas, the squad dumping the black and gold livery that they created to tie in with former title sponsor Rich Energy, in favour of their more familiar colour palette which is more in line with owner Gene Haas’ machine tool business Haas Automation.
Haas released digital renderings of their car, with the real thing set to break cover in public in the Barcelona pit lane, one hour before testing begins on February 19th. Kevin Magnussen will drive on day one, with Grosjean taking over the following day. The drivers are set to split the final day on Friday.
As with any launch car, we can expect the version presented in the renderings to evolve significantly before the first race of the season in Australia.
Last year was definitely a set-back, one I would never have asked for, but you learn from such situations – we all have
The VF-20 is an evolution of its predecessor, with the regulations having remained stable over the winter, and Team Principal Guenther Steiner is hopeful the team have gained a greater understanding of why they struggled so much last year, ending up ninth and second-to-last in the championship.
“It’s always exciting to see the development of a new Formula One car and undoubtedly the VF-20 has to deliver where our previous car didn’t,” said Steiner. “With the regulations remaining stable into this season, it’s allowed us to improve our understanding of the car and to scrutinize ourselves more in order to find solutions and applications to channel into the design of the VF-20.
“Last year was definitely a set-back, one I would never have asked for, but you learn from such situations – we all have. Everybody at the team was forced to look at themselves and understand what they can do better. I’m looking forward to seeing the VF-20 make its track debut. As always in testing, you want many things, but lots of mileage, reliability and speed would be welcomed as we ready ourselves for the first race in Australia.”