Will Haas F1 ever actually make the grid?

CONCORD, NC - APRIL 14:  (L-R) Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas Formula, Gene Haas, founder, Haas Automation and chairman, Haas Formula, and Mike Arning, True Speed Communications, speak with the media during the Gene Haas Formula One Press Conference at the Concord Convention Center on April 14, 2014 in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

CONCORD, NC – APRIL 14: (L-R) Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas Formula, Gene Haas, founder, Haas Automation and chairman, Haas Formula, and Mike Arning, True Speed Communications, speak with the media during the Gene Haas Formula One Press Conference at the Concord Convention Center on April 14, 2014 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

There’s a belief that Ferrari are pushing beyond the limits of regulations when it comes to aero design and wind tunnel usage.

The suspicion is that Ferrari have used their ‘relationship’ with Haas to develop the aerodynamics of the SF15-T over and beyond the 60 hours a week limit allowed under current F1 regulations.

TJ13 smelled a rat when in January at a NSACAR media event, Haas chose to announce his F1 team Haas announced he would be using the Ferrari wind tunnel rather than his own state of the art facility in the USA.

Having been the first to release this story, TJ13 updated readers in last weeks Daily News and Comment section on Saturday.

The Haas owned Windshear complex in North Carolina was only the third full scale wind tunnel to be built in the world and has had many customers from NASCAR, IndyCar, Commercial Auto builders and even in previous times, Formula One teams.

At the same NASCAR media event, the explanation was given that under the regulations, a Formula One team cans only use one nominated wind tunnel.

Yet Haas is not bound by the current competitor regulations on wind tunnel time and CFD usage, because Haas F1 is not a competitor until 2016.

One reason Haas could be using the wind tunnel in Maranello is because Italian based Dallara are building the Haas F1 chassis and there is some sense in using a wind tunnel more local to them than one in the United States of America.

However, Haas had indicated much of the engineering and design work would be carried out from Haas F1 base in the states, this now appears to have changed.

The ‘only one wind tunnel allowed’ explanation for this doesn’t fly, because as previously explained Haas is not yet restricted to only one wind tunnel.

Ferrari rocked up in Barcelona with a car said by some to be 90% new from an aerodynamic perspective. Given wind tunnel restrictions, this was a huge number of changes to have passed through the Ferrari facility in the time available.

Of course the FIA have sent their man down to check out what has been going on and a Ferrari spokesperson commented following the visit.

“As is allowed under the existing regulations, we are allowing Haas to use the wind tunnel in Maranello. But we do not have a shared wind tunnel programme. In aerodynamic terms we are two completely separate entities.

The use of the wind tunnel is separate; there are separate models and parts and also the personnel are completely different.

We do not share staff.

We were visited by Mr Budkowski on behalf of the FIA. They have confirmed that everything is in order and we are well within the regulations.”

Wind tunnel sharing is quite within Formula One regulations, but restricted.

The big question is what will the other teams do in response. Will Mercedes be able to recruit a ‘new’ team and use their wind tunnel freedom the year before they become a competitor in the sport?

Questions have been raised recently over the apparent lack of construction meant to be occurring up in Charlotte.

In fact, will Haas F1 actually turn up next year, or find some reason to defer their entry for one more year – or never.

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17 responses to “Will Haas F1 ever actually make the grid?

  1. I don’t see them making the grid in ’16, not with the current rules. I have USF1 deja vu.

  2. Indeed, Hass F1 have been very quiet of late. At this stage of preparation, you would expect the Hass F1 press office to be churning out progress reports on Twitter, Facebook and any other media who will listen, on a regular basis in a bid to get the brand recognition going and create a ‘hype’ over the 1st American F1 entry for many years, building up over the next 8 months (only 32 weeks-ish) until their challenger hits the track in Jerez for winter testing.
    Perhaps Gene Hass has seen the light and decided he wants to leave something for his kids when he’s gone, instead of watching Bernie Ecclestone’s daughters spending it for them 😇🔫👿

  3. Will they make the grid?
    Yes I think they will.
    Why not use the Windshear facility?
    Who says they won’t, when the car is finally built. Since the majority of the unpurchased design work is being done under contract by Dallara, it would make sense to use a wind tunnel that is proven and calibrated. Many of the items that Haas is buying from Ferrari, have an aerodynamic element in their design. eg suspension arms, brake cooling ducts and the like.
    Ferrari cheating?
    Umm no. Too much to loose. They did announce in engineering circles that their CFD technology was out of date and they had spent a lot of money updating it.

  4. Or is it because they are not allowed to use a full-scale wind tunnel and their own wind tunnel is full scale….

    • [mod As I tried to point out before being moderated.] Haas is not an official team, therefore the resource restrictions do do not yet apply.

  5. The counter argument is already in your article. Their wind tunnel in the US is over subscribed with demand from NASCAR and Indycar, that’s a good revenue source and not one you would drop when you’re about to spend a lot of money on getting an F1 team up to scratch, furthermore, Ferrari have just finished renovating their wind tunnel and are now looking to claim back some money from it. Makes sense to me. Yes, there may some extreme interpretations of the rules, that certainly happened in the past with sauber (especially in 2012, where Ferrari were actively blocking developments by sauber before they could get them on the car), but that didn’t help then, and it’s not actually helping now when you consider the lap time difference to the merc.

  6. The biggest barrier to Haas is the 2016 rule change. What’s the point in dropping a load of cash for one season when you need to learn it all again when it’s changed for 2017? I suspect they’ll lay low until the 2017 rule changes are fixed.

    • For Haas, I believe that the real hold up is the possibility of customer cars. Why would anyone wish to make the capital investment to create their own manufacturing establishment the year before the possibility of customer cars. To me, it seems Haas wants to be a customer of Ferrari, so it makes no financial sense to make a capital investment to construct a team.

      • For me, it depends on Haas long term goals. I would be very surprised if there wasn’t an eventual intent on winning races, but that’s almost impossible with a customer car. I think the Ferrari partnership is to get them up to speed more quickly than they would manage on their own, and once that had happened they will become completely independent.

  7. As Dallara is building the chassis, it makes sense to use an Italian wind tunnel?

  8. It seems they are ramping up staff, though I dont know about US Based, as everything seems to be centred around Banbury. Apparently design of the Monocoque and aerodynamic package is well under way, and it has already been reported that final production wouldnt start until late summer, with the final car, probably, not being built, until December.

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