Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech analysis: The 15 major design features of the Haas F1 car

Tech analysis: The 15 major design features of the Haas F1 car
Feb 23, 2016, 10:14 AM

Giorgio Piola and Matt Somerfield analyse the new Haas VF-16 and look at how much of the car can be traced back to partner team Ferrari.

After more than two years of preparation, the Haas Formula 1 team finally made its public debut at Barcelona in Spain on Monday.

Although things did not go perfectly, with a front wing failure, the team was back out on Tuesday with strengthened parts that it hopes will allow it to make more progress over the remaining F1 test days.

There has certainly been a tremendous amount of excitement about what the new American outfit would deliver on its debut – and especially whether or not its design would just be a total carry-over of a 2015 Ferrari.

But while there are striking similarities between the SF15-T and the VF-16, it would be wrong to view it as anything approaching a carbon copy. 

Key areas



Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail
Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail

Photo by: Haas F1 Team



1. The VF16's rounded nose tip is very similar to the Ferrari SF15-T's, albeit it is much shorter,residing in a similar position to the 'thumb'-style noses we see up and down the grid.

The front-wing pylons have been cleverly sculpted to merge with the body of the nose further upstream, which could assist in positioning the airflow around the turning vanes.

The FOM cameras have been mounted on 'minimal' bodywork extensions pushing them slightly away from the body of the nose and into a more aerodynamically-assistant position.

2. The front wing is, to excuse the pun, a carbon copy of the one used by Ferrari during the early stages of 2015, albeit without the endplate canard.

3. The turning vanes are very similar to the ones used by Ferrari, with the forward elements mounted to the nose, whilst the longer secondary section is added to the underside of the chassis.

4. The VF16 seems to be equipped with a blown axle, quite the undertaking in design terms froma new team as it must be in tune with the front wing, in order to maximise how it shapes the wheel wake.

5. A small bump resides in-line with the rear arm of the upper wishbone (much like the one whenwe saw Mercedes doing suspension/S-duct tests in Brazil).

Whether the bump is indicative of a soon to be added S-duct or the result of a late modification to the suspension elements remains to be seen. Whilst on the topic of suspension it is worth noting that, although not extreme, Haas has conjoined the lower wishbone arm.

6. The sidepod inlet is fairly large and home to the team's cooling options, which are likely home to both the engine radiators and air-air charge coolers which need to deal with the demands of the 2016 Ferrari power unit.

The airflow conditioners alongside frame the sidepod well, and arc over to meet with the vortex generator, which is placed relatively far forward on the sidepod's leading edge.



Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail
Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail

Photo by: Haas F1 Team


7. Alongside the cockpit, like the Ferrari SF16-H, you will find a large array of cooling louvres, which will reject some of the hot air generated within the sidepods.

8. The airbox is fairly conventional in shape, with a split toward the top, which likely feeds ERS and gearbox oil coolers at the rear of the car, while the main inlet feeds the turbo compressor.

You'll also note that like Ferrari and Williams, a small winglet is mounted on top of the engine cover, which helps to tidy up turbulent flow before it reaches the rear wing.

9. A fairly large bulge on the engine cover is indicative of the power unit and ancillary coolers space requirements, with a small shark fin terminating at the rear wing-mounting pylon.

10. The radiators and air-air cooler have allowed the design team to have tightly-sculpted rear end, albeit with more of a vertical finish than an undercut.

11. In front of the tyre we find three tyre-squirt slots, which are reminiscent of the style used by Toro Rosso in 2015, and are used to inhibit the lateral flow of air into the diffuser's path, as the tyres deform during cornering.

12. Rear suspension detail


Haas VF-16 rear suspension
Haas VF-16 rear suspension

Photo by: Haas F1 Team

1) Here is a close-up view of the rear suspension.

2) As the cooling outlet fans out, we find a shapely Gurney trim applied to the trailing edge, with a sharp edge in the uppermost corner that will also shed a vortex, defining the airflow in that area.

3) The rear arm of the lower wishbone sits in front of the driveshafts helping to guide the airflow. The shafts themselves are shrouded where they pass over the flow, so as not to disturb the airflow passing over the floor below.

This opens up in the gap between the floor and the tyre, which should help to shape the wake shed by the tyre, improving diffuser performance.


Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail
Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail

Photo by: Haas F1 Team

13. Back to our main image. Like Toro Rosso in 2015 and, as we have already seen from the McLaren launch, Haas too have decided to intersect the exhaust with their rear wing mounting pylon.

This should not only increase the rear wing's stability but also have an effect on the exhaust plume.

14. Like the Ferrari SF16-H, the VF16 features twin wastegate exhausts, placed either side of the main exhaust.

15. The rear wing endplates have two leading edge slots, much like the Ferrari and Toro Rosso had in 2015.

It has also placed a singular gradient slot under the position of the main plane to improve its performance. The rear wing main plane and top flap are perhaps most closely aligned with the McLaren ones, in design. 

Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail
Haas F1 Team VF-16 detail

Photo by: XPB Images

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Series Formula 1
Teams Haas F1 Team