Being first among the current F1 teams to roll out their vehicles, Haas F1 gives us a glimpse of just how drastic the look of F1 cars will change this season thanks to the new halo around the cockpit. Regulation halo aside, the american-fielded team focused on improving aero – and subsequent handling – issues that have been identified from racing last season.
With the improved aero in place, Haas hopes to get consistent results this year as opposed to the extremely inconsistent results the past season. Weight reduction has been a key improvement over last year’s car, ideally to help the car with spreading ballast around and utilize that for the optimal set up.
Team principal Gunther Steiner was keen to acknowledge the changes to the VF-18 were minimal versus last year’s car, but that most of the changes were made to accommodate the new halo. "The biggest part of the car's evolution was the addition of the halo," he said. "It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the halo could survive the mandated loads.”
Considering that the regulations have remained mostly the same from 2017 to 2018, we may likely see minimal changes to other teams’ vehicles apart from the new halo configuration.