American team Haas became Formula 1’s first mover last week, with the squad launching its 2019 livery at London’s lavish Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall…
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen pulling off the covers to reveal the paddock’s worst-kept secret – a striking new black and gold look, one reminiscent of Lotus’ iconic branding, originally from 1972 to 1986.
... before it was reprised by Lotus Renault from 2011 to 2015, Flying Finn Kimi Räikkönen taking two wins for the squad in that time.
The London launch, which properly kicked-off Haas’ new title partnership with British drinks firm Rich Energy, was just a livery reveal on a 2018 car though it did feature a 2019 front wing.
… with the complete new car revealed in the studio images that followed, which showed a far tighter aero packaging. And a lot more detail on its wings, both front and rear.
And the ambition the squad has for 2019 is clear…
AUDIO QUOTE (English) WILLIAM STOREY,
CEO, RICH ENERGY:
“We think Haas as a team are going to get better and better and better, and we feel very confident that we’re going to beat Red Bull on the track pretty soon.”
To do that, Haas needs to be constantly fighting at the front of the midfield – which it did only on occasion last year…managing to secure five double points finishes across 21 rounds.
… with Grosjean a liability in the first half of the season.
But it will have Renault to contend with, the French manufacturer focused on consolidating its place there with a formidable driver pairing in Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hülkenberg.
Haas, naturally, has its own driver battle to manage, with both needing to have strong years to secure their drives in 2020.
In 2018, Magnussen was edged by Grosjean in qualifying, the final score 10-11, 7-7 in races when they could be compared.
But he scored 19 more points, helping Haas to fifth in the constructors’ standings.
All of which will be huge motivation to push the squad forward in 2019, as F1’s American team breaks new ground in the sport.