Why Haas’ Hungarian F1 update was more than just a Ferrari copy

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After finishing bottom of the constructors’ standings last year, the progress he has made with his VF-22 means he is entering the summer break ahead of Williams, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri in the championship.

This is an incredible achievement when you consider that it has been the least active in terms of development. It’s a testament to the work done on the original design of this year’s car, as well as how it worked to make the most of what it had at its disposal.

Of the 12 races leading up to the Hungarian Grand Prix, the team only introduced five updates. However, all of these would be considered minor, especially against the backdrop of what other teams have produced and are still adrift in terms of performance.

That’s why there was a lot of intrigue about the major upgrade it brought to the Hungaroring, leading to many accusations that it was nothing more than a ‘white Ferrari’.

The conclusions some drew was that Haas had simply copied Ferrari’s lead with its latest update, which is not entirely correct as it relied on the ideas of its engineering partner.

As team principal Gunther Steiner said: “We have the same engine as Ferrari, the same gearbox, the same suspension. Why should we copy someone else? And they win races? So 1 and 1 is 2, and we are not stupid.”

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But where Haas may have been even smarter, especially when compared to his closest rivals, his development isn’t too delineated from his origins, either.

Haas sidepod comparison

If we compare the sidepod solution that was driven in the first half of the season, and which was on Schumacher’s car in Hungary (left), with the new solution (center), there is a clear move towards the crack on the Ferrari F1-75 (right) but it remains on the same design line.

Meanwhile, teams like Aston Martin and Williams have completely changed their design concepts, following the example of Red Bull, rather than refining and optimizing the solutions they started the season with.

While it’s clear to see the inspiration Haas took from Ferrari on the top surface of the sidepod, it has also led to some significant changes to the overall shape of the body as the team explores how to extract more performance from this stream. can get. generation cars.

Haas sidepod comparison

Haas sidepod comparison

While the designers may have previously used the bargeboards and sidepod deflectors to recalibrate the trajectory of the airflow, they no longer have these aerodynamic tools at their disposal.

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This is important in regards to the wake created by the tires as the front wings have also been simplified, reducing their use as a means of disrupting and altering the wake.

In light of this, Haas introduced a revised endplate dive plane design for the VF-22 at the British Grand Prix, although it was unable to race until now.

This may have suggested that it didn’t offer the expected performance boost over the wishbone-esque design without the new package that comes with it (blue arrow).

The shape of the sidepod has been changed, with a higher shoulder, resulting in a change in the overall geometry of the body (green marking).

Also notable is how the flank of the sidepod has also changed, which is evident not only in the shape of the Haas livery, as the curvature is less abrupt, but also visibly wider at the base (see front right comparison and yellow highlight ).

Haas no longer has the aforementioned aerodynamic tools at its disposal and is taking a more blunt approach in 2022, as it is forced to use the body as a means to disrupt, adjust and recalibrate the tyre’s trajectory so that it is not detrimental to performance.

The changes made to the sidepods should help push the wake generated by the front tires away from the car and also improve relations further downstream, not just in terms of the inwash needed to get power to the car. area of ​​the Coke bottle, but also how the airflow is pushed over the front of the rear tire.

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The flow to the Coke bottle area will also benefit from the changes the team has made to the rear suspension, with the team overhauling the fairings wrapped around the various components.

Another result of the sidepod overhauls is that the team abandoned the central cooling arrangement on the back of the hood, lifting the shark fin off the body (red arrow).

Haas VF-22 Floor Fences

Haas VF-22 Floor Fences

Meanwhile, while the changes to the sidepod are very obvious, there’s plenty happening with the floor of the VF-22 as well, as the team strives to get more performance out of a part of the car where the designers have a lot of freedom.

In this regard, there are changes to the fences at the front of the floor and at the edge, an area where all its rivals have already made changes to better optimize flow conditions and improve driving sensitivity, while no doubt changes have also been made to the subfloor.

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