Well, this was a surprise. Having not previously given a date for the launch of their 2018 car, Haas have stolen a march on everybody (particularly Williams, who are slated to do theirs tomorrow) and unveiled the first pictures of a 2018-style F1 car.
And, thankfully, it has a new livery:
It’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of their first 2017 car, and even less so of their second one. So I’m pleased to see them ditch the incredibly dull grey, and bring back the bright red that was lacking from that bafflingly revamped livery.
The car is now predominantly white (or it could be a very very light grey), and while it’s still a fairly basic colour scheme it does look smart (they always have) with the added bonus that it no longer looks like it’ll just blend in to the asphalt of the track. In effect they’ve gone back to an evolution of their original 2016 car, albeit with subtle tweaks here and there and – on the whole – improvement.
It’s difficult to make out, but the car does still have a “shark fin”, albeit a greatly reduced one compared to last year. As with the controversial new halo device, Haas have chosen to mask it almost entirely, by painting it black – although the race number at the very back of the engine cover is a nice touch. It remains to be seen whether other teams will go down a similar route with the halo, or if we might see some of them do anything a bit more dramatic.
It’s also worth noting that there aren’t any driver identification panels (i.e. “GRO” and “MAG”) – these may have been left off for the launch, or it could be that teams have dialled back on that after, in some instances, slightly overcompensating for the FIA’s new regulations. It’d be a shame to lose that, though, as we quite liked it.
Anyway, on the whole, this still isn’t particularly exciting – but it does have a little more zest to it than the team have had in the last couple of years, so it’s a cautious if still largely indifferent thumbs up here.