The new machine, which will be handed its official track debut when pre-season testing gets underway at Barcelona on Monday, is the results of more than two years of effort by Haas, who will become the first American team on the grid for 30 years.
According to the team, the origin of naming the car “VF-16” goes back to the first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation, the VF-1, launched in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.
The dark gray, light gray and red-toned livery of the VF-16 was also derived from Haas Automation’s machine tool lineage.
“Just as Haas Automation’s products continually evolve, becoming better and more efficient, our methodology behind the VF-16 was to make it the best evolution of a good F1 car,” said Haas team principal Guenther Steiner. “We’re a new team, so we looked at what the successful teams were doing to give us a baseline of the direction we needed to go with our design.
“We have very experienced designers who worked hard to develop all the little things from an aerodynamic perspective that, collectively, add up to a lot. And our technical partner, Ferrari, provided our power unit, and that really defined the rear end of the car and how big it needed to be.
“Our goal with this car is to score points,” Steiner states. “First, we need to go out there and show that we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and other teams in the paddock. Then, we want to score points. That is the ultimate goal.”
Romain Grosjean, signed from Lotus to lead the team’s 2016 attack, will be behind the wheel for the first and third days of testing in Barcelona, with team mate Esteban Gutierrez driving for days two and four.