The Haas F1 Team is the penultimate outfit to launch its 2017 car, the Ferrari-powered VF-17, by releasing studio photographs of its design ahead of the first pre-season test session in Barcelona.
Images of the car had earlier been leaked to the media after photos of the VF-17 on-track during the team’s allowed ‘filming day’ running were published.
The VF-17 has a slightly modified livery, with matte grey being the predominant colour while splashes of red and black feature. The car features the thumb tip nose and ‘shark fin’ engine cover extension that has been almost universally adopted by rival teams under this year’s technical regulations.
Team principal Günther Steiner confirmed that the VF-17 represented a complete redesign of its 2016 car, which claimed five points’ finishes in its debut season to help the team finish an unexpected eighth overall in the Constructors’ Championship standings.
The VF-16, however, had a worrying succession of brake failures that contirbuted to a number of retirements and took months to resolve – Steiner emphasised that it has applied the lessons learned in 2016 to its new car.
“I think the pedal box is the same, but all the rest is very different from last year’s car,” Steiner said of the VF-17.
“The aero is completely new, as are the tyres, so we needed to have some built-in adjustability. Aesthetically, the car has a more aggressive look. Everything we learned from our first car has been applied to our new car.”
The car maintains the blown axle diffuser it ran in 2016 – seemingly eschewing the ‘S duct’ that a number of teams have opted for – while aerodynamic features such as bargeboards, deflectors and turning vanes around the sidepod air intakes are less complex than rival teams’ designs.
Underbody aerodynamics seem to have had rather more attention, however, with the VF-17’s floor sporting a number of cut-outs and detached features to compensate for the effects that Pirelli’s larger tyres will have on the car’s handling.
Unlike the majority of teams running the ‘shark fin’ engine cover extension, the VF-17’s has a triangular cut-out ahead of a centrally-supported rear wing.
The VF-17 will once again be piloted by Romain Grosjean – who claimed all of the team’s points’ finishes last year – while the Frenchman will be joined by new teammate Kevin Magnussen, who moves across from Renault to replace Esteban Gutiérrez.
Images via Haas F1 Team