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Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

TEAM PAGE
26/01/2020

DETAILS

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team Team

Overthorpe Rd
Banbury
Oxfordshire
OX16 4PN
United States of America

Tel:  

Official website:
https://www.haasf1team.com

2020 CAR

Haas VF-192019 launch: Click here for 2019 launch gallery

STATISTICS (PRIOR TO 2020)

Seasons in Formula 1:
Races contested:
Drivers championships:
Constructors championships:
Number of wins:
Number of pole positions:
Number of fastest laps:
Number of points:
2019 - number of wins:
2019 - number of poles:
2019 - number of fastest laps:
2019 - points:
2019 - position:

4
83
0
0
0
0
2
197
0
0
1
28
9

2020 DRIVERS

Romain Grosjean
Car number: 8
Age: 33
Championships: 0
Wins: 0

Kevin Magnussen
Car number: 20
Age: 27
Championships: 0
Wins: 0

BIOGRAPHY

Due to debut in 2016, Haas would become the first American-led Formula One team since the Haas Lola outfit (no relation), which contested the 1985 and 1986 seasons.

Founded by industrialist Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America, the team's headquarters are in the United States on the same Kannapolis, North Carolina campus as his championship-winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, Stewart-Haas Racing, though a European base has been established in Marussia's former factory in Banbury.

Having established a major technical partnership with Ferrari, Haas’ 2016 car was designed and built by Dallara, while one of the first appointments was that of former Jaguar and Red Bull technical director Gunther Steiner.

In September 2015, following weeks of speculation, Haas confirmed Romain Grosjean as lead driver, subsequently naming (Ferrari reserve) Esteban Gutierrez as his teammate.

On 8 January, the team revealed that it had passed the final mandatory crash test and would be ready for the opening test at Barcelona.

Only Gene Haas can reveal how he really felt at the end of a trying debut season.

Those first couple of races will have had the American wondering what all the fuss was about, only to subsequently discover the harsh reality of the sport.

You see, Grosjean's excellent drive to sixth in the season opener and fifth in the subsequent race in Bahrain not only gave the newbies points on their debut, the success of the team had the opposition crying 'foul'.

At a time the newcomers should have been lauded for their magnificent debut, rivals were lining up to query the 'special relationship' with Ferrari.

Of course, after Bahrain it was pretty much back to reality with an almighty bump, certainly at circuits where one's brakes were put to the test.

Though the opening brace of races provided 18 points over the course of the next 19 events the team only added a further 11 to its tally, indeed, after the summer break the American outfit only finished in the points once.

As the team floundered, Grosjean gave a running account of the difficulties it faced over the team radio: "this is the worst car ever", "this car is undriveable", on and on it went, the language ever more colourful.

However, who could blame the French youngster, his car clearly a beast to handle and his brakes continually failing.

To make matters worse, with no previous experience to draw on, the team struggled with its tyres also, this in combination with the brake issues testing the patience of Grosjean and Gutierrez to the limit.

Twice Grosjean failed to even make it to the start, even so the team had one of the worst finishing record of the year, only Sauber and Renault doing worse.

The situation wasn't helped by Gutierrez who had a pretty anonymous season indeed his clash with Alonso in Melbourne seeming to be the only time we heard about him. No surprise therefore that at season end Haas effectively said 'thanks, but no thanks' and recruited Kevin Magnussen.

Despite the many negatives, the team did at least finish 8th in the standings, ahead of Renault, and those early points were proof of what is capable.

With an experienced hand like Steiner at the helm, and the lessons of 2016 (hopefully) learned, the American outfit headed into 2017 with a better idea of what to expect, and with the combined resources of Ferrari and Dallara hoped to further establish a foundation on which to build.

That said, was there a single fan out there who didn't punch the air in delight and shout "yes!" when, in the final stages of the United States Grand Prix, Guenther Steiner told Grosjean to "shut up" over the team radio.

All season long, the Italian, his team and us long suffering fans had been subjected to the Frenchman's endless complaints - only a few of which were justified - therefore when Steiner spoke he spoke for all of us.

In fact, in terms of reliability, Grosjean had little to complain about, certainly compared to his long-suffering colleagues at McLaren, Red Bull and Toro Rosso, while the Sauber duo will have envied the Frenchman for the fact he had the latest-spec Ferrari engine powering his car.

All thing considered, 2017 was a pretty good second season for the American team, and while it once again finished 8th in the standings it scored almost double the points of 2016. Indeed, when one considers that in only its second season the American outfit faced a major overhaul of the regulations, it - along with its partners - handled things pretty well.

Whereas in its debut season the team only scored points at five races, in 2017 this became thirteen, a good effort when you consider just how competitive the midfield battle was.

Beginning the year with a double retirement, a brace of 8ths in the subsequent races helped the team settle down at a time panic could have easily set in. And while the upgrade in Spain did little at the time, the American outfit subsequently enjoyed a fairly impressive run.

Admittedly, reliability was more of an issue than we previously suggested, with the team suffering DNFs due to a myriad of reasons including water leaks, suspension, electrics, hydraulics and even an errant wheel nut. However, as in 2016, it was the brakes that caused the biggest headaches, certainly for a certain Frenchman.

A double points finish in Japan set the team up nicely for Austin, where, with the team now looking at sixth in the standings, a final update was to be introduced.

Sadly, it had little effect and as a result not only did the American team fail to overhaul Toro Rosso, it was leapfrogged by Renault also.

Both drivers gave a good account of themselves, and while Magnussen's aggression didn't go down well with rival drivers the team gave him its full support. On the other hand, if the Dane can temper his aggression and improve his qualifying performances, he could well put his teammate under some serious pressure.

Other than the moaning, which, let's be honest, is because he wants to be able to deliver the best performance possible, Grosjean continued to impress.

While Austin was a disappointment for the team, the double retirement in the season opener was another low.

With both drivers retained for 2018, Haas could expect an altogether tougher season, for while McLaren would no doubt be more competitive having switched to Renault engines, Sauber would also now have access to the latest Ferrari unit, which meant added competition for the American team.

Whatever team owner Gene Haas thought of his team's opening two seasons, the American was about to face his toughest test since entering the sport and it was going to be interesting to see how he and his team dealt with it.

Having suffered that double DNF in the 2017 season opener, it seems hard to believe that exactly the same fate befell the team a year later.

This time around however, rather than suffering a water leak and suspension issue, both drivers were eliminated following unsafe releases while destined for a decent points haul.

Sadly, this was a glimpse at the biggest issue facing the American team, inexperience and the seeming inability to learn from mistakes.

Already benefitting from its close ties to Ferrari - a source of major irritation to several rivals - Haas, like Sauber, was given a further boost by the engine upgrades introduced over the course of the season.

However, a topsy-turvy season for both drivers, combined with a number of other totally unnecessary errors from the team, saw Haas fail to fully capitalise and ultimately lose the fourth sport to Renault.

Despite the concerns at the close ties with Maranello, which included much of the Ferrari rear end, the FIA insisted all was above board.

Nonetheless, failure to abide by the rules over the legality of its floor cost Grosjean sixth place in Italy, while at the team's home race Magnussen was disqualified for using too much fuel after the Dane had finished eighth. In total, the team's mistakes cost at least 22 points.

Of course, the drivers didn't help, certainly in Grosjean's case.

Where to begin? The crash behind the safety car in Azerbaijan? The kamikaze attack on the entire midfield in Spain? The numerous incidents at his home race - where he tangled with countryman Leclerc - or the clashes with Sainz and teammate Magnussen at Silverstone?

In Singapore he was rightly penalised for his flagrant ignoring of the blue flags, while another encounter with Leclerc - this time in Austin - saw the Frenchman come dangerously close to a second race ban.

Yet there were some typically strong performances also, Austria, Germany, Italy and Japan being the examples that spring to mind.

Curiously, while Grosjean had a poor start to the season, improving in the second half, it was exactly the opposite for Magnussen, who started the season well but then inexplicably faded away.

Bouncing back from the disaster that was Melbourne, Kevin gave himself and his team the ultimate confidence boost by finishing fifth in Bahrain and claiming sixth in Spain just a few weeks later.

However, a strong mid-season spell was followed by an inexplicable lean period in the second half of the year when there were times one wondered if Kevin was still racing.

Other than his unexplained loss of pace in the second half of the season - during the races and in qualifying - over the course of the year Kevin was once again embroiled in a number of questionable incidents with rival drivers. Also, at a number of races, not least Monza and Singapore, he was inexplicably off his teammate's pace.

That said, the Dane's two DNFs were not down to him, and over the course of the year he showed impressive consistency.

If ever the phrase "could do better" applied, it would do so not only in terms of Haas but its two drivers. Both clearly have the potential but simply weren't consistent.

Meanwhile, the team must learn from its mistakes. Ignoring the unsafe releases in Melbourne, the floor saga was a fiasco, and played into the hands of its rivals, particularly Renault.

Though the American team is clearly improving year on year, in 2019, having retained both drivers, it will face tougher competition from the likes of Renault, not to mention Sauber and whatever Racing Point finally decides to call itself.

One factor worth pointing out is that despite its close relationship with Ferrari, 2018 saw Haas show the first signs of a political stance, and not one that fitted with the Maranello narrative.

Team owner Gene Haas referred to those teams outside the Mercedes/Ferrari/Red Bull bubble as Formula B, while Guenther Steiner admitted that unless F1 was overhauled and the playing field truly levelled he didn't see the point of remaining in the sport.

Ahead of the season we opined that another test of Gene Haas' resolve would probably come in the form of the title sponsorship deal agreed with Rich Energy, the mysterious energy drink company linked with a buy-out of Force India in 2018 but which didn't appear to have anything like the sort of finances needed even for a significant sponsorship deal.

Should the deal fall apart, and we strongly believed that it would, it might well be enough to cause Haas to think again.

Heading into the new season, team boss Guenther Steiner was already making headlines courtesy of his outspoken performances in the Netflix series, Driven to Win.

However, once the season was underway, the Italian continued speak out, and even if the expletives were missing, the message was clear.

"You go into the graining phase, and then when we go into the graining phase we cannot get out of it anymore because our tyre then gets too cold and then we are done,” he said in Azerbaijan, just four races into the year, but with the Achilles heel of the VF-19 clear. “Then we slide around.”

Eighth in its debut season, eighth again in season two and then a convincing fifth in season three, much was expected of the American team in 2019, but it was not to be.

At the season opener, it really looked as though Haas was in business, Grosjean and Magnussen claiming sixth and seventh in qualifying. However, while the Dane finished sixth in the race, his teammate was to suffer a repeat of the same unsafe release that had sidelined both drivers just twelve months earlier.

Sadly, in many ways, Australia was as good as it got.

While Magnussen, in particular, continued to perform brilliantly in qualifying, making it to Q3 in five of the first six races, everything fell apart on Sunday.

Though most teams have a window in which their tyres are at an optimum, at Haas the window was miniscule.

In Bahrain, Magnussen was close to pulling off the upset of the season, when he almost out-qualified Max Verstappen, but next day the Dane was almost speechless after slipping down the field and struggling to finish 13th. More was to follow in China and the Azerbaijan.

Though the team introduced an upgrade in Spain it only made matters worse, and it wasn't long before it became clear that the American team had a fundamental issue. As the team struggled to understand the problem, far less solve it, all manner of fixes were tried, with Grosjean reverting to the Melbourne spec.

Later in the year as the struggles got worse, Steiner admitted that he should have listened to his drivers, Grosjean never happy with the Barcelona upgrade while the team continued with its 'pick and mix' approach to its aero package depending on the circuit.

Soon, Saturdays, like Sundays, were a write-off, and as Magnussen appeared to lose faith, Grosjean's qualifying efforts began to improve only for things to fall apart next day.

Of course, things weren't helped by the Frenchman's continued erratic approach, which resulted in a number of clashes, the worst being at Silverstone where the Haas duo collided on the opening lap, which, if nothing else, guarantees another classic outburst from Steiner in Season 2 of Driven to Win.

In the lottery that was Germany both drivers scored points, but other than that it was slim pickings, Magnussen ending the season with 20 points and Grosjean just 8. From 5th in 2018, the American team had now slipped to ninth, ahead of Williams... the two teams having spent the latter part of the season battling one another… a sad fall from grace for both.

As if things weren't bad enough, in Austin Grosjean crashed in practice. Normally this wouldn't have been a big issue, but as the Frenchman was running the team's much-anticipated new front wing - of which there was only one - it was.

There has been concern about the future of the team for some time, and when it was announced in September that Grosjean was to continue with the team in 2020 speculation intensified.

Other than its woeful problems on track, as expected the Rich Energy deal went sour, and on the day after the Italian Grand Prix the American team announced an end to the partnership. Whether it got paid what it was owed we shall probably never know, but for Gene Haas it probably served as just another kick in the stomach.

With the sport facing a massive overhaul in 2021, 2020 is the ideal opportunity for some to bow out, and along with Mercedes and Renault there remains a major question mark regards the future of Haas. Certainly, the decision to retain Grosjean, as opposed to taking on the likes of Hulkenberg or a rookie suggests that Gene Haas has already made his mind up.

While the business model Haas chose when it entered the sport seemed reasonable, and in many ways could prove the way to go once the budget cap is introduced in 2021, it also meant that the team didn't have the resources to react to the situation it found itself in 2019, and was therefore unable to get on top of the issue.

Clearly, the VF-19 had strong one-lap pace, especially at the beginning of the season, but its susceptibility in terms of the ultra-narrow tyre operating window meant it struggled when performance was really needed.

2020 is very much a make or break season for the team, but in all honesty, looking at Gene Haas over the course of the season, one cannot help but feel that the decision has already been taken.

MANAGEMENT

Founder & Chairman: Gene Haas

Team Principal: Guenther Steiner

Chief Operating Officer: Joe Custer

Team Manager: Peter Crolla

Technical director: Rob Taylor

Chief Aerodynamicist: Ben Agathangelou

Head of Logistics: Peter Crolla

Group Leader Aerodynamicist: Christian Cattaneo

Chief Race Engineer: Ayao Komatsu

Race Team Operations Manager: Geoff Simmonds

Race Engineer (Grosjean): Gary Gannon
Race Mechanic (Grosjean): Ian Staniforth

Race Engineer (Magnussen): Giuliano Salvi
Race Mechanic (Magnussen): Toby Brown

Race Team Chief Mechanic: Stuart Cramp

Chief Marketing Officer: Adam Jacobs

Head of Communication: Mike Arning

Senior Press Officer: Stuart Morrison

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

VF-19

Chassis Material: Carbon-fiber and honeycomb composite structure

Bodywork Material: Carbon-fiber

Front and Rear Suspension: Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear

Dampers: ZF Sachs

Steering: Ferrari

Transmission: Ferrari servo-controlled hydraulic limited-slip differential with semi-automatic sequential and electronically-controlled gearbox, quick shift (eight gears, plus reverse)

Clutch: AP Racing

Brake System: Carbon-fiber disc brakes, pads and six-piston calipers

Cockpit Instrumentation: Ferrari

Seatbelts: Sabelt

Steering Wheel: Ferrari

Driver's Seat: Carbon-fiber construction, molded to driver's contours

Wheels: OZ Racing

Tires: Pirelli P ZERO

Fuel Cell: ATL

Fuel and Lubricants Provider: Shell

Overall Width: 2,000 mm

Weight: 743 kg (including driver))

Ferrari 064 Power Unit

Cubic Capacity: 1600cc
Maximum rpm: 15000

Supercharging: Single Turbo

Fuel flow rate: 100 kg/hr max

Fuel allowance per race: 110 kg

Configuration: V6 90

Bore: 80 mm
Stroke: 53 mm
Valves: 4 per cylinder
Injection: Direct, max 500 bar

ERS System

Battery energy: 4 MJ
MGU-K power: 120 kW
MGU-K max rpm: 50.000
MGU-H max rpm: 125.000

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