American team Haas became the first outfit to kickstart the car launch season, by unveiling their 2018 F1 car, the VF-18. Without announcing an unveiling the team opted for an online launch, by releasing the first few images of the car. The new 2018 challenger, has a lot of similarities to Ferrari’s 2017 car, the SF70-H which was one of the best designed cars on the grid.
After a points finish in their debut season, the current car is a strong evolution from last year’s car, however most of its design elements draw inspiration from Ferrari’s challenger, given their close relationship as a customer team. As team boss Gene Haas would put it “It’s no secret we use a lot of Ferrari equipment, so we’re using them as our baseline”. However, given there are nine more cars to launch, and their rivals Sauber are going to be powered with the current Ferrari engine, giving them equal competition in terms of horse power on track, it will be interesting to see how this car evolves further in the aero development department over the course of the season.
The front wing is significantly different from the one used last year, and it is similar to that of the McLaren’s MCL-32 and Ferrari SF70-H. Similar to the thumb-tip nose used, this year’s car features pillars that allow the nose to taper downstream. There are integrated turning vanes under the chassis are a direct copy from the Maranello squad’s 2017 car. The side pods are shaped similar to the SF70-H, which allows adequate amount of airflow to enhance the cooling system, along with a slightly aggressive bargeboard design from the one used last year.
The VF18 features a spilt airbox design similar to the one used by Mercedes for the last two seasons. The rear-wing features a double-pylon swan styled wing, again a lift off from Maranello’s design. Overall the current Haas car is almost 70 percent similar to the Ferrari SF70-H, however whether it will be enough to challenge Sauber which has Ferrari’s Alfa Romeo badge, and Toro Rosso for points, will be an interesting scenario to watch.
Haas VF18 gallery :