After finishing bottom of the standings last season, Haas have made a lot of progress with their VF-22, heading into the summer break ahead of Williams, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri in the constructors’ standings.
It’s an incredible achievement considering it’s been the least active in terms of development, and it’s a testament that the work put into the original design has paid off, plus they’ve gone to great lengths to maximize what they had to offer. your disposition.
Of the twelve races that came before the Hungarian Grand Prix, only five of them saw updates. However, all of them were considered minor, especially in the context that other teams had been premiering larger pieces.
So there was a lot of intrigue as to what the huge improvement they led to the Hungaroring layout would do, leading to many accusations of being a ” white Ferrari “. The conclusions reached by some were that Haas had simply copied the concept of the Italians with its latest update, something that is not entirely accurate, since they admitted that they only relied on the ideas of their technical partner.
As team boss Guenther Steiner said: “We have the same engine as Ferrari, the same gearbox and suspensions. Why would we copy the others? And they are winning races? So 1 and 1 are 2, We’re not stupid.”
However, where Haas may have outwitted its closest rivals is that its development has not strayed far from its origins.
Comparison of the pontoon of the Haas with that of the Ferrari
If we compare the pontoon solution that they used in the first half of the season and that was on Mick Schumacher’s car [left] with the upgrade [centre], we can see that there is a clear change in the area of the bathtub-like indentation that it sports Ferrari [right], but follows the same design line.
Meanwhile, teams like Aston Martin and Williams have completely changed their concepts, following Red Bull’s lead, rather than optimizing the solutions they started the year with.
And while the inspiration Haas has taken from the Prancing Horse is evident in the top surface of the sidepod, that has also led to some significant changes to the overall body shape as the team investigates how it can extract more performance from your car.
Haas Pontoon Comparison
Previously, designers could use bargeboards and deflectors to help recalibrate airflow, but these are no longer available. That’s significant when you consider that the wake created by the tires and wings has been simplified, and its use has been reduced so as not to interrupt or alter the trajectory.
Seeing this, Haas introduced an improved endplate design for the British Grand Prix, although it was not tested until then. That perhaps suggested that it didn’t offer the expected step up from the wishbone design without the accompanying new blue package [blue arrow]. Meanwhile, the shape of the side pillar has clearly changed, with a higher shoulder leading to a change in the overall geometry of the bodywork [shown in green].
What is also noticeable is how the side of the pontoon has changed, which is not only distinguished by the shape of the Haas decoration, as the curvature is less abrupt, but it is also visibly wider at the base [compared to right from rear and yellow highlight].
Lacking the aforementioned aero tools, the Americans took a different approach for 2022, as they were forced to use the bodywork as a means of disrupting, adjusting and recalibrating the airflow generated by the tires so as not to detract from performance. .
The changes made to the sidepods should help to get rid of that wake created by the front tires, and also improve the lower area, not only in terms of the inwash in the rear ‘bottleneck’ area, but also in the shape in which the air goes to the rear compound.
The flow in the area of the ‘bottleneck’ also benefits from the changes created in the rear suspension, with a revision in the parts that surround said part. Another result of the Haas research is also that they have abandoned the idea of cooling the central area of the engine cover, which had a shark fin to raise the bodywork [red arrow].
While the changes to the sidepods are very obvious, there are also plenty of modifications to the floor of the VF-22, as the team looks to get more performance out of a part of the car where the designers have great freedom.
In that sense, there are changes to the fences at the front of the bottom and on the edges, an area where all its rivals have already made updates to improve aerodynamic flow and handling, but without leaving the ground neglected.