Haas team owner Gene Haas says he’s hopeful of a return to form in 2020, having spent a year struggling with a recalcitrant VF-19.
Ahead of the physical launch of their VF-20 on the opening morning of testing at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, Haas decided to release renderings of their new car via social media to show off their new look livery.
The new car sees a return to the more ‘traditional’ colours that Haas used between their entry into Formula 1 in 2016 and the end of 2018 – when they signed title sponsor Rich Energy and switched to a black and gold livery. With that deal now over, Haas have returned to the colours of Haas Automation – Gene Haas’ machinery company in the United States.
“I’m pleased to see the car return to the more familiar Haas Automation colors, it’s certainly a livery that people identify with,” said Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and chairman of Haas F1 Team.
Having been a team finding more and more competitiveness throughout their first three seasons, 2019 was a bit of a smackdown for the American team as the VF-19 proved uncooperative. While occasionally very fast over a single lap, their race pace was usually amongst the worst on the grid and led to Haas falling down to P9 in the Constructor’s Championship.
“Frankly, I’m hoping the VF-20 will return us to the kind of form we ran in 2018 when we finished fifth in the constructors’ championship.” continued Haas. “2019 was a tough season to endure. We’ve been through a real education process, one that comes to all Formula One teams at some stage. I’m trusting we’ve learned from those lessons and have applied that knowledge into making the VF-20 a more competitive entry. It’s important to me that we’re back in the mix and consistently scoring points, we certainly have the capability and we’ve proved as an organisation we can do it.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner agreed. As the public face of Haas, Steiner had to face the criticisms of fans and the media towards the end of a turbulent 2019, and he says the new car simply must deliver: “It’s always exciting to see the development of a new Formula One car and undoubtedly the VF-20 has to deliver where our previous car didn’t.”
“With the regulations remaining stable into this season, it’s allowed us to improve our understanding of the car and to scrutinise ourselves more in order to find solutions and applications to channel into the design of the VF-20. Last year was definitely a set-back, one I would never have asked for, but you learn from such situations – we all have. Everybody at the team was forced to look at themselves and understand what they can do better. I’m looking forward to seeing the VF-20 make its track debut. As always in testing, you want many things, but lots of mileage, reliability and speed would be welcomed as we ready ourselves for the first race in Australia.”