The VF-16, Haas F1 Team’s
first race car, has arrived. The car officially broke cover on February 21,
2016 via Haas F1 Team’s social media channels and website. It hits the track
Monday for the first day of preseason testing at the Circuit de Barcelona –
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”.
Now as chairman of Haas F1 Team, the “F1” moniker
of that first machine takes on new significance as Haas joins the 2016 FIA
Formula One World Championship, becoming the first American-led Formula One
team in 30 years.
“From an international
standpoint, Formula One is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation
builds the highest-quality machine tools,” said Haas, who has grown Haas
Automation into the largest machine tool builder in North America with more
than $1 billion in annual sales. “When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it
is – a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts
the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent
reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide.
Connecting Haas Automation with F1 in name and in practice is the best way to
grow our business and elevate Haas Automation to a premium, global brand,” he
The dark gray, light gray and
red-toned livery of the VF-16 was derived from the scheme of Haas Automation’s
complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and
rotary tables and indexers. Approximately 1,300 employees encompass Haas
Automation, with the Oxnard, California-based company exporting its machines to
more than 60 countries. The VF-16 showcases Haas Automation’s commitment to
technology and innovation to a passionate, global audience.
“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 Guenther
Steiner, team principal, Haas F1 Team.
“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,”
“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,” he further said.
The VF-16 tests at Barcelona
Feb. 22-25 and again March 1-4 before its debut race, the season-opening
Australian Grand Prix March 20 in Melbourne.
Source: Haas F1 Team
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