Why Haas update was more shrewd than just a Ferrari copy

Haas introduced a substantial upgrade at the Hungarian Grand Prix as it looked to build on a pretty strong start to the 2022 Formula 1 season.

Why Haas update was more shrewd than just a Ferrari copy
Listen to this article

After ending up at the bottom of the constructors’ standings last year, the progress it has made with its VF-22 means it heads in to the summer break ahead of Williams, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri in the championship standings.

This is an incredible achievement when we consider it has been the least active in terms of development. It is testament to the job done with the original design of this year’s car but also how it has worked to get the maximum from what it had at its disposal.

Of the 12 races that preceded the Hungarian Grand Prix, only five of those saw the team introduce any updates. All of these however would be considered minor, especially against the backdrop of what other teams have produced and still remain adrift of them in terms of performance.

That is why there was a lot of intrigue about the major upgrade it brought to the Hungaroring, which prompted a lot of accusations that it was nothing more than a ‘white Ferrari’.

The conclusions some drew was that Haas had simply copied Ferrari’s lead with its latest update, which isn’t entirely accurate as it owned up to leaning on the ideas of its technical partner.

As team boss Gunther Steiner said: “We have the same engine as Ferrari, same gearbox, the same suspension. Why would we copy anyone else? And they're winning races? So 1 and 1 is 2, and we are not stupid.”

However, where Haas may have been even more shrewd, especially when compared to its closest rivals, is that its development hasn’t delineated too far from its origins either.

Haas sidepod comparison

Haas sidepod comparison

Comparing the sidepod solution that’s been raced in the opening half of the season and resided on Schumacher’s car in Hungary (left), with the new solution (centre), we can see that there’s a definite move towards the bathtub-like crevice sported on the Ferrari F1-75 (right) but it remains on the same design lineage.

Meanwhile, teams such as Aston Martin and Williams have completely changed their design concepts, following the example set by Red Bull, rather than refining and optimising the solutions that they began the season with.

And, whilst it’s clear to see the inspiration that Haas has taken from Ferrari on the upper surface of the sidepod, this has also led to some significant changes to the overall shape of the bodywork, as the team hones in on how it can extract more performance from this current generation of cars.

Haas sidepod comparison

Haas sidepod comparison

Whereas the designers might have previously used the bargeboards and sidepod deflectors to help recalibrate the airflow’s trajectory, they no longer have these aerodynamic tools at their disposal.

This is significant when we consider the wake created by the tyres, as the front wings have also been simplified, reducing how much they can be used as a means of disrupting and altering the wake.

In light of this, Haas introduced a revised endplate diveplane design for the VF-22 at the British Grand Prix, although failed to race up until this point.

This perhaps suggested it didn’t offer the expected uplift in performance over the wishbone-style design without the new package accompanying it (blue arrow).

Meanwhile, it’s clear to see that the shape of the sidepod has changed, with a higher shoulder resulting in a change to the overall geometry of the bodywork (green highlight).

What’s also noticeable is how the sidepod’s flank has altered too, which is not only apparent by the shape of the Haas livery, as the curvature is less abrupt, it’s also visibly wider at the base (see right-hand comparison from the front and yellow highlight).

No longer having the aforementioned aerodynamic tools at its disposal, Haas is using a more blunt approach in 2022, as it is forced to use the bodywork as a means to disrupt, adjust and recalibrate the tyre wake’s trajectory in order it’s not detrimental to performance.

The changes made to the sidepods should help to push the wake generated by the front tyres away from the car and also improve relations further downstream, not only in terms of the inwash required to improve flow into the coke bottle region, but also how the airflow is pushed across the face of the rear tyre.

The flow into the coke bottle area is also going to benefit from the changes made by the team to its rear suspension, with the team revising the fairings that wrap around the various components.

Another upshot of the sidepod revisions is the team has abandoned its centreline cooling arrangement on the spine of the engine cover that had resulted in the shark fin being lifted away from the bodywork (red arrow).

Haas VF-22 floor fences

Haas VF-22 floor fences

Meanwhile, whilst the changes to the sidepod are very obvious, there’s plenty going on with the VF-22’s floor too, as the team looks to gather up more performance from an area of the car where the designers have plenty of freedom.

In this respect there’s changes to the fences at the front of the floor and on the edge, an area where all of its rivals have made changes already to better optimise flow conditions and improve ride sensitivity, whilst there’s also undoubtedly changes been made to the underfloor too.

shares
comments

Related video

Alonso’s age a factor in why Alpine would not commit to long-term F1 deal
Previous article

Alonso’s age a factor in why Alpine would not commit to long-term F1 deal

Next article

McLaren set to end Ricciardo’s 2023 F1 deal to make way for Piastri

McLaren set to end Ricciardo’s 2023 F1 deal to make way for Piastri
The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season Prime

The 10 stories to watch out for across the rest of the 2022 F1 season

It’s 13 down, nine to go as the Formula 1 teams pause for breath in the summer break. But what can we expect to happen over the next three months from Belgium to Abu Dhabi? Here's the key storylines to keep an eye out for the rest of the 2022 season

Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future Prime

Nicholas Latifi: The under-fire F1 driver fighting for his future

Personable, articulate and devoid of the usual racing driver airs and graces, Nicholas Latifi is the last Formula 1 driver you’d expect to receive death threats, but such was the toxic legacy of his part in last year’s explosive season finale. And now, as ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains, he faces a battle to keep his place on the F1 grid…

Formula 1
Aug 13, 2022
The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes Prime

The strange tyre travails faced by F1’s past heroes

Modern grand prix drivers like to think the tyres they work with are unusually difficult and temperamental. But, says  MAURICE HAMILTON, their predecessors faced many of the same challenges – and some even stranger…

Formula 1
Aug 12, 2022
The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1 Prime

The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1

Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold Prime

Hamilton's first experience of turning silver into gold

The seven-time F1 champion has been lumbered with a duff car before the 2022 Mercedes. Back in 2009, McLaren’s alchemists transformed the disastrous MP4-24. And now it’s happening again at his current team

Formula 1
Aug 11, 2022
Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future Prime

Why few would blame Leclerc if he leaves Ferrari in future

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior.

Formula 1
Aug 9, 2022
The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Prime

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Prime

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022