HaasF1: Photos of the new Formula 1 factory

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Behind the scenes at HaasF1
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T the clock is ticking. These are hectic times for HaasF1. The new team is still being set up itself and has to build a Formula 1 car at the same time. The US racing team will celebrate its GP premiere in 9 months. It is the first American Formula 1 team since 1986. That too was named Haas, but has nothing to do with the current project. Team owner Gene Haas is neither related nor related by marriage to his predecessor Carl Haas.

New Haas Formula 1 factory in Kannapolis

It's a team that has never existed like this before. With 3 locations. The administration is located at the US base in Kannapolis. All metal parts are also produced there. On 20 in-house machines. Gene Haas is the CNC king of the USA.

The racing factory is located in Banbury, England. Team boss Guenther Steiner chose the old Marussia base for this. For the base in England speaks: 'There you get people with racing experience.' The development takes place in Italy under the direction of chief designer Rob Taylor and aerodynamics chief Ben Agathangelou. At Dallara the chassis, in the Ferrari wind tunnel the aerodynamics.

Once the team is in place, 200 people will work for HaasF1. 50 in the USA, 60 in England, 90 in Italy. Around 130 of the 200 jobs are currently assigned. Steiner and team manager Dave O‘Neill only recruited large parts of the racing team after the racing season. 'Otherwise they would just sit around now. There's not much to do yet.'

It's a slim model that has found a strong technology partner in Ferrari. For the team boss, the balancing act between three companies means a lot of time on the plane: 'I fly to Europe every two weeks.'

Haas F1 must minimize risks

Steiner wants to minimize the risk. Not making the same mistakes as Caterham, Marussia and HRT, who tackled the great Formula 1 adventure off a blank sheet of paper and did not make it to midfield even after 5 years. Their fate shows the biggest problem of Formula 1. The technical and logistical standard is too high for newcomers. Unless it is an automobile manufacturer.

HaasF1 is therefore trying a new model. You take what you can get from Ferrari. In other words, all the components that are on a list with the title 'listed parts'. This denotes the parts that can be bought from outsideand don't have to develop it yourself. At the moment that is everything with the exception of the chassis, the radiator, the wings, the outer skin and the underbody.

Ferrari not only gets the drive unit and the gearbox, but also the suspensions, wheel carriers, the seat, the hydraulics, steering and electronics. With that the skeleton stands. Constructing it yourself would cost capacity and money. HaasF1's budget is therefore relatively modest. Around $ 100 million a year. If the Americans had done everything themselves, it would have cost at least 30 million more.

Own chassis with borrowings from Ferrari

The competition viewed the US team's close ties to Ferrari with suspicion. And the question was asked whether Ferrari is not cheating its way through the back door. HaasF1 is not yet bound by restrictions on wind tunnel use and CFD capacities. Ben Agathangelou and his crew use the Ferrari wind tunnel every other week, and then around the clock. The Englishman with Greek roots knows his way around there. He worked for Ferrari from 2012 to 2014.

The FIA ​​sent an examiner to Maranello to investigate suspicions of the competition. He did not confirm himself. Steiner explains: 'In principle, we do nothing other than Force India at Toyota. We are a customer in the wind tunnel.' In addition, the 2016 HaasF1 has little to do with the current Ferrari SF15-T. A few borrowings, perhaps, but Steiner says: 'We designed our own chassis. Rob Taylor has been working on it since January.'

The development, the construction of the models and carbon parts is done at Dallara. Here, too, HaasF1 is meticulous in order not to come into conflict with the strict Formula 1 law. 'We have our own offices at Dallara. It's like a company within the company', asserts Steiner.

HaasF1 wants 2 experienced pilots

The HaasF1 concept for the coming season is in place. The chassis has been approved and will go into production soon. 'The new car should be on its wheels in February 2016,' says Steiner. In time for the first test, which will take place in Barcelona on March 1st. Of course, he is watching with interest what is happening in big Formula 1 politics. HaasF1 could be a model for making sport cheaper and more promising for beginners. At the moment there is a discussion about adding the chassis to the list of 'listed parts'. Steiner wouldn't mind.

One more crucial question remains: Who will represent the colors of the Stars and Stripes in the cockpit next year? No decision has yet been made, but a trend can be identified. 'We're looking for two drivers with experience. As a new team, you don't want to run a driving school at the same time. You need drivers who knowwhat matters, 'says Steiner.

One of the two drivers will come from the Ferrari pool. So Esteban Gutierrez or Jean-Eric Vergne. The paddock radio reports that Vergne has the better chances. For the second There are dreams in the cockpit. One of the quality classes Nico Hülkenberg, Romain Grosjean or Felipe Nasr. Team owner Gene Haas recently revealed in an interview: 'There are always some of the current drivers who are no longer quite so sure whether their team is going the right way. '

An American as a regular pilot is unlikely. At the moment there is no one who imposes itself. Even the call for Danica Patrick will not come true, even if she knows Gene Haas very well Fast lady earns a double-digit million sum in the Nascar Team Stewart-Haas. A salary of this magnitude would be a number too high for the Formula 1 newcomer. The money is better invested in technology.

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