Haas F1 confirms pre-test launch date

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The Haas F1 Team has confirmed its pre-test launch date on Sunday next week alongside Red Bull and Toro Rosso.

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Haas F1 made a spectacular debut last year with the American team finishing eighth in the standings in its maiden season. They now hope to build on that success with their new VF-17 machine.

The Ferrari-powered challenger will be piloted by a revised driver line-up for 2017, with Kevin Magnussen moving from Renault to partner Romain Grosjean, replacing the outgoing Esteban Gutierrez.

The new Haas F1 car is expected to make its track debut the day after its launch, when pre-season F1 testing begins at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.

Haas F1 silenced the skeptics by scoring points in its debut at the Australian Grand Prix last year. F1.COM

Haas F1 silenced the skeptics by scoring points in its debut at the Australian Grand Prix. Veteran driver Romain Grosjean finished sixth to place fifth in the constructor standings. The last time a Formula One team scored points in its debut race was in 2002 when Mika Salo finished sixth for Toyota at the Australian Grand Prix, a span of 14 years.

“I think it was a very successful entrance into Formula One. We accomplished all of our major goals and, actually, surpassed what we expected at the beginning of the season,” said Gene Haas, owner and chairman of Haas F1 in a post in the team’s website www.haasf1team.com.

“I certainly think Melbourne [Australian Grand Prix], because it was our inaugural race and actually scoring points was a record-breaking event. Melbourne certainly stands out above any other race during the whole season just because we scored points,” he added.

Grosjean improved on his Australian Grand Prix performance by finishing fifth in the series’ next race – the Bahrain Grand Prix. Not since Shadow Racing —another American team—debuted in 1973 with consecutive point-scoring finishes by Californian George Follmer had a Formula One team earned two top-six finishes in its first two races.

Grosjean’s eighth-place finish in the fourth race of year—the Russian Grand Prix—yielded another points haul. Three point-paying finishes in the first four races gave Haas the distinction of earning the most points of any new team in this millennium. When Jaguar debuted in 2000 and when Toyota came on the scene in 2002, each entity managed only two point-paying finishes in their entire first seasons.

While its inaugural Formula One effort was successful, much may be expected in Haas F1’s second season. There is a new car being built under much different regulations, which includes an advanced aerodynamic package that will create a higher level of downforce via a longer nose, wider front wing, larger barge boards, sidepods being pushed out, a lower and wider rear wing and a diffuser that expands 50 millimeters (two inches) in height and width. Augmenting these changes are wider tires from Pirelli, by 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) in the front and 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) in the rear.

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