The Haas Formula One team has had a spectacular debut season. There have been several new teams in recent years who struggled in vain to score a single championship point. Haas has scored 28. That is huge because championship points determine how much money flows to a team from the gigantic pot controlled by Bernie Ecclestone.
Of course, Haas has had a little help along the way. It buys every component permitted by rules from Ferrari, including the entire powertrain. Many people think of Haas as being the Ferrari B team, just as Toro Rosso is the B team for Red Bull Racing. But Haas is not without resources of its own. The company owns Windshear, a renowned aerodynamic testing facility in Concord, North Carolina.
Since Formula One is almost completely focused on aerodynamics these days — the cars are essentially airplanes that fly upside down — having access to a wind tunnel considered to be one of the best in the world is a really big deal. Up until now, most of the Haas chassis has been copied directly from the current Ferrari race car, but this weekend Haas will be trying out a new rear wing it has developed itself.
The rear wing of a Formula One car is critical to its performance. How the air flows over the rear wing is hugely important to how much aerodynamic downforce is applied to the rear wheels of the car. The cars themselves weigh a feather light 1500 lbs, but the force pushing down on the rear wheels thanks to aerodynamics can be as much as 5,000 lbs. The cars could literally stick to the ceiling of a tunnel at speed.
The new Haas rear wing is shaped like the letter M with two humps across its width. All the other cars have a single arc like the letter C. Each rear wing has a movable flap that the driver can open at certain parts of the track to promote passing of the car ahead. No one knows yet if the “double bubble” wing will confer an advantage on the Haas machines, but it it does, you can be sure other teams — particularly Ferrari — will quickly come up with similar designs of their own.
I am telling you this not because I think this is high on your list of important news for today but because I am in Monza this weekend, personally viewing the Italian grand prix in all its glory. I have brought the 21st century version of a Brownie box camera with me, so hopefully I will be able to share some photos of my adventure with you as the weekend progresses.
By posting this, I also can prove to the IRS that a portion of the cost of my Italian getaway is business related and therefore a proper business deduction when April 15 rolls around. Is this a great country or what?
Source and photo credit: Motorsport.com