The VF-17 follows the team’s very first car, the VF-16, which carried Haas F1 Team to an eighth-place finish in the 2016 constructor standings. Twenty-nine points were scored by the VF-16 during Haas F1 Team’s inaugural season, the largest points haul of any new Formula One team in this millennium.
Incorporating “VF” into the name of the car is a nod to the history of Haas Automation, the team’s title sponsor. The first CNC machine manufactured by Haas Automation was the VF-1 in 1988. The “V” stands for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill. Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation, added “F1” to the name to unofficially designate it as the company’s “Very First One”.
The VF-17 was built under a new set of technical regulations featuring an advanced aerodynamic package designed to create a higher level of downforce. A wider front wing, larger barge boards, a lower and wider rear wing and a diffuser that expands 50 millimeters (two inches) in height and width comprise the changes, along with wider tires from Pirelli, by 60 millimeters (2.4 inches) in the front and 80 millimeters (3.1 inches) in the rear, a 25-percent increase to bring the front tires to 305 millimeters (12 inches) and the rear tires to 405 millimeters (15.9 inches).
The colors from the original car were carried over to the VF-17, but the overall scheme is different. A dark gray makes up the majority of the livery, with tones of red, black, white and light gray incorporating the look of Haas Automation’s complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. Approximately 1,300 employees encompass Haas Automation, with the Oxnard, California-based company exporting its machines to more than 60 countries. The VF-17 showcases Haas Automation’s commitment to technology and innovation to a passionate, global audience.