Haas F1 Team Set To Debut in PreseasonTesting at Barcelona
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Feb. 14, 2016) – It is not the season-opening race of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship, but the upcoming tests Feb. 22-25 and March 1-4 at the Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya carries much of the expectation of a season opener as Haas F1 Team makes its debut.
After numerous press conferences and social media updates that chronicled the team’s progression from cool idea to tangible entity, Barcelona marks both a culmination and a beginning.
It has been 30 years since America last fielded a Formula One team. Ironically, that 1986-era team was owned by Carl Haas, who has no relation to Gene Haas, owner of Haas F1 Team and founder of the team’s title partner, Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America.
That an American entity is back in Formula One is no small feat. Consider that Haas F1 Team was awarded a Formula One license in April 2014, and it is February 2016 when the team gathers for the first time to put its car on the racetrack. In that time, more than 100 people have been hired, spread across bases in three countries – Kannapolis, North Carolina; Banbury, U.K.; and Parma, Italy. A technical partnership with Scuderia Ferrari was formed, with the most successful team in the history of Formula One providing Haas F1 Team its power unit, gearbox and overall technical support.
Experienced drivers in Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez were signed and, along the way, transporters were built, tools were ordered, parts were machined, firesuits were made and those pieces and many others were logistically organized to circumnavigate the globe from February’s first test in Barcelona to November’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.
It all comes together in Barcelona, where the first racecar Haas F1 Team has ever built is literally put to the test. While nearly two year’s worth of work will be on display on the 4.655-kilometer (2.89-mile), 16-turn circuit, it’s really just the start of Haas F1 Team’s Formula One endeavor. Two four-day tests spread over 12 days is all Haas F1 Team has to ensure its racecars for Grosjean and Gutiérrez are up for the first of 21 grand prix race weekends in 2016.
The longest schedule in Formula One history begins March 20 in Melbourne, Australia. Between the travel from Barcelona back to Haas F1 Team’s European base in Banbury and the outfit’s arrival in Melbourne prior to the race weekend, only 10 days are available to the team. In that time, the lessons learned from Barcelona are applied to their cars before they’re loaded up for a flight to the land down under.
Spain’s motto is “Plus Ultra” which translated from Latin means “Further Beyond”. It is a fitting motto for Haas F1 Team too, with the American team needing Barcelona to take it further beyond testing and into the cauldron of a grand prix weekend.