Sunday, October 22, 2017

Is Haas F1 truly America's Team?




Kevin Magnussen at this year's Japanese Grand Prix. (Image source: motorsport.com)
Obviously the short answer is Yes. Yet in Uh-mericun' parlance, that euphemism is traditionally bestowed upon the Dallas Cowboys...

Haas F1 Team
2016 Constructor Ranking: 8th (29 points)
Debut Race: 2016 Australian GP
Team Principal: Guenther Steiner
Chief Designer: Rob Taylor
Chief Aerodynamicist: Ben Agathangelou
Base:  Kannapolis, North Carolina USA; Banbury, Oxfordshire UK

Chassis
Model: VF-17
Engine: Ferrari

Drivers
#8. Romain Grosjean, France
#20. Kevin Magnussen, Denmark

Test Drivers
Santino Ferruci, Antonio Giovinazzi and Arjun Maini

While I never saw the original Haas Lola, or FORCE Formula 1 team run in anger in 1985-86, since I hadn't even learned of Formula 1 yet, not to mention I hugely doubt I'd have traveled to Detroit for a Grand Prix race, I'd hoped to celebrate the arrival of the Haas F1 Team 30yrs later at
Circuit Of The Americas (COTA) last year, before electing to skip attending the USGP.

And whilst I get A-L-L of the Hype during every Stateside TV Broadcast, when it behooves NBC Sports to re-broadcast it! And am happy we've got a team, I'm definitely long since past grown tired of this non-stop Nationalistic Jingoism.


And while I tend to overlook the facts, as a F1 "Purist," I struggle mightily with the idea of Haas being a true, bonafied Constructor, especially from what little I can discern, Haas's chassis are still built by Italy's Dallara.


Team Summary
Current Position: 7th
Current Points: 43

Haas F1 is owned by Gene Haas, whose of NO relation to the late Carl Haas, longtime North American Lola Cars importer, Co-owner of the past Newman Haas Racing CART (IndyCar) team and the aforementioned Haas/Lola F1 Team of 1985-86.

Gene Haas's core business is his Haas Automation CNC Milling machines, which reputedly are utilized around the world including Italy, where Open Wheel Racing chassis manufacturer Stalwart Dallara resides.

The team's primary base of operations is situated in Kannapolis, NC, alongside the team's Stewart Haas Racing's 'RASSCAR shop, which currently fields Ford Fusions for Clint Boyer, Kurt Bush, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick. And claims that the two teams are separate entities.

Thus, with Dallara being tasked of building the Haas VF chassis, I can only surmise this means that the Haas Formula 1 racecars are simply assembled in Kannapolis. Whilst wisely, Haas purchased the ex-Manor Racing facility in Banbury for use as it's European base during the racing season proper.

The team's led by Guenther Steiner, a no-nonsense manager whose from Uhm, Italy, as Betcha didn't see that coming? And his father was a Butcher, Chop-chop!

As Guenther has a lengthy motorsports career, beginning as a Rally car mechanic before multiple managerial positions, including stints at Jaguar and Red Bull Racing F1 Squads, before relocating to North Carolina to oversee Red Bulls NASCAR operation.

As the team scored a sixth place finish on its debut Down Under at Bloody Albert Park, followed by a season's best fifth place finish, with all 29 points being scored by their lead driver Romain Grosjean.

Although the team, and particularly the Frenchman seemed to spend the entire season struggling with braking issues, which I think have somewhat carried over into this season.

Haas currently sits seventh in the coveted Constructors rankings with 43-points, just one marker ahead of Renault, who's nipping at its heals, and obviously is aiming to leapfrog Haas with the current installation of Carlos Sainz, Jr. to the team, with four rounds remaining.

Within striking distance in the points table are Team Willy' and Toro Rosso, as Williams currently lies fifth overall with 66-points whilst thee 'lil Bulls', nee Scuderia Toro Rosso currently have 52-points...

For a brief prospectus upon Haas F1 Team's drivers, see; Haas F1 Team's 2017 Driver's Quintet

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