Haas VF-18 First 2018 F1 Car Revealed
Third time’s the charm, as they say. Will the Haas VF-18 improve the American team’s standing in Formula 1?
Haas Formula 1 Team, based in Kannapolis, NC became the first of the ten teams competing in this season of F1 to reveal its 2018 challenger, the VF-18.
The VF-18 name is derived from a combination of Haas Automation's first CNC machine, 1988's VF-1, and a progression from the team's 2016 car, the VF-16, also named for said machine. The company's presence in F1, sponsored by machining bigwig Gene Haas, is about expanding Haas' lifelong passion for motorsports, rooted in NASCAR, and to advertise Haas' machinery to the global market.
The team intends to advance to a more competitive finish in the constructors' championship by the end of 2020, and be capable of winning races in 2025 or earlier, according to Gene Haas' self-imposed schedule. It has finished eighth for the last two years, and despite hoping to close up to the leading Mercedes, Ferrari, and Red Bull teams, this year's highly competitive grid may hamper Haas' progress.
The car will be campaigned by Frenchman Romain Grosjean and Dane Kevin Magnussen. Grosjean is a ten-time podium finisher, and Magnussen finished second place in his debut race with McLaren, in 2014. The pair is more than adequately skilled for a team in Haas' position and may snag opportunistic points finishes throughout the year.
The Haas VF-18 will be fielded at winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya Feb. 26.