Compare the new 2018 Haas with last year’s car

2018 F1 season

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Haas took care not to reveal too many details with the first images of the new VF-18 it revealed earlier today. However a few clear differences between it and last year’s car stand out.

Take a closer look at the two with these interactive images.

Use the slider below to transition between images of Haas’s new 2018 VF-18 and last year’s VF-16. Note some images may have been altered for ease of comparison and should not be used as a reference for measurements.

Front view

A much more intricate and sophisticated front wing is the most striking change at the front of the new VF-18. Further back the Halo – mandatory 2018 – will be the most obvious change on all of the new cars which appear this year.

Side view

The influence of Haas’s technology sharing arrangement with Ferrari can be seen easily in the side view. Ferrari stole a march on its rivals last year with a pioneering sidepod design which is clearly reflected in the new Haas.

As Haas will continue to use the current Ferrari power unit the design of the rear end of the car may give some indication about how the 2018 Ferrari will look. However the factory team will have greater opportunity to package the engine and hybrid elements more effectively.

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2018 F1 season

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Compare the new 2018 Haas with last year’s car”

  1. The only difference I can notice compared to VF-17 is the Halo, of course. Otherwise, the VF-18 looks pretty much the same design-wise as its predecessor (which is what I anticipated to be the case due to stable technical regulations).

    1. There are quite a few differences, mainly:

      – Modified sidepod intakes (intakes now sit higher up and are smaller, and are preceeded by bodywork similar to Ferrari last year)
      – Developed sidepod deflectors (this was previously introduced on the VF-17, but have been developed on the VF-18)
      – Modified, rounder engine air intake
      – Developed front wing
      – Resized and relocated nose strakes

      I dare say that more is to come on the actual car, likely in the second test.

      1. The higher sides of the survival cell, would that be because it was necessary to strengthen the tub for the Halo or is that aerodynamically ancillary to the new sidepods?

      2. And the brake ducts are there i didn’t kown Haas was operating without those brakeducts.

        1. Me too, seems unlikely to be honest!?

      3. Also, instead of the very prominent shark fin, this figures only a small, lower fin.

      4. Indeed Admo.
        The front wing concerns me. They added another flap. When will it stop?

  2. Gavin Campbell
    14th February 2018, 17:08

    The bargeboard bits around the sidepods are also significantly different alongside the old hideous halo. The airbox also has the Ferrari style larger A style grid inside it. Although I don’t know how many of those modifications made their way to last years car – could well be a v1. with the livery on it or a modified model of last years car incorperating the halo.

  3. Didn’t a rule came through via a McLaren suggestion that the rear wings should be made simpler?

    The images don’t help but I can’t see any special difference. In fact the only rear wing that looked out of the ordinary was McLaren’s

    Or did I dreamed about this?

    1. @johnmilk does not ring a bell

      1. @pyon I could have bet on it, but did some research and found nothing. I’m going mental

        1. @johnmilk
          I’m betting that you’re remembering that McLaren pulled the stunt to eliminate the Shark Fin ostensibly to “make it simpler to see the sponsor logo on the rear wing”.

          Of course, they just did it because they were behind everyone else on shark fin use and so they let everyone else waste time developing it further and then pulled a last minute objection which killed it. LOL

          Gotta love the politics and gamesmanship in F1! :)

          1. God I hate the huge shark fins like Williams used in 2017. The one on the new Haas I can barely accept. I love the flowing shape of the eingine cover from the side view. IMHO they should emphasize this sexy curve by losing the fin altogether.

          1. @pedrocr ah! that is it

            so, who wants in on that bet?

  4. In side view:
    1, There is a smaller shark fin (Is shark fin legal in 2018?). I like shark fins so I hope it is legal.
    2, There is bigger “side aero elements” behind front wheel. It looks well.
    Thank you Keith for the interactive images, I really like them. (Of course when the interactive images are more similar in measurement it is the better. I think the wheels are good references.)

    1. @patent Please show me an actual shark with a fin all the way down it’s back, up to it’s tail. Such a misnomer.

      1. @psynrg

        Good point! They should have called it a Dimetrodon fin!

      2. Dandy Highwayman
        15th February 2018, 9:37

        Prickly Dogfish Shark

  5. It’s hard to see, but there seem to be a lot of little detail differences. How much of the car will actually look like this render when they get to Australia? The front wing is more complex, but that’s constantly changing. There’s a whole bunch going on around the sidepods too. I actually really like the downscaled fin they have going. It’s nice and sleek. It would be interesting to see a top-down comparison to see if they’ve tightened up the rear body. It looks to me like they might’ve. I’m not really into the halo, but all-in-all, I think it’s a pretty good looking car :) Bring on the Williams!

  6. I really love these side by side comparisons!!
    The car has relatively small changes, a difference at the rear wing & mostly the sidepods.
    The livery is just ok for me,a mix of the 2 previous cars but nothing “woh”
    ps Goodluck in the new chapter that opens with Racefans!

  7. Quite a different sidepod intake shape, it appears!

    1. Thats the point.

  8. Sidepods look different, livery is definitely an improvement over last year, and to be honest, I didn’t even notice the halo until I read the comments and realised it was on there.

  9. Still no sponsors then.

    1. I keep reading in the comments here that Haas uses the F1 team to promote his machine products, and so does not desire a main sponsor.

      I find it hard to believe building an F1 team is in any way economically comparable to simply sponsoring an F1 team.

      But having said that, Haas doesn’t have shareholders, or anyone else to answer to when it comes to his company, so why not own the team, right?

    2. You do realize that Haas is their own sponsor? The whole purpose of the Haas F1 team, just like his NASCAR team and their Supercars connections, is to showcase Haas CNC and their engineering prowess. The entire team is one gigantic publicity/marketing stunt with the added side-benefit of Gene Haas getting to say he owns an F1 team.

  10. Wonder how many more winglets they can add to the front wing.

    1. Sadly, the best they can hope for is that the new, extremely complex front elements help them qualify up a couple of spots as they run in clear air. Of course, they’ll TOTALLY wash out in the race and since they’ll never sit on poll, it will probably penalize them in race conditions as they follow other cars and run in dirty air :(

      F1 seems to show ZERO common sense on this front. Every year the majority of the paddock and fans whine about no passing….and each team makes the front wings more complex and more important to overall downforce. Which in turn kills any chance at following closely in dirty air. Sigh.

      Simple fix: Each team get’s 200^cm of “element surface” and only 3 elements per side, then add more downforce to the floor and let’s go racing.

  11. Keith, once again I want to compliment the “slider” comparison graphic. It’s so effective for comparing cars.

  12. Looks like there’s some vestige of T-wing? Radical strakes on the barge boards. Obvious streamlining (love that word though not really a tech term ;-)) of the shark fin. Lot’s more changes. Too bad the lighting on the VF-18 is so dark…

  13. From the colour scheme that’s the vf17’s launch spec. Changed a bit between then & Abu Dhabi. Need an end of season shot to see true changes. Front wing & outer barge boards look quite similar to the car at the last race.

  14. Their nose mounted winglet/ turning vane is missing from the front on view but is clearly shown on the diagonal shots
    The sidepods have clearly changed.
    T-wing is very low down.

  15. Anyone else predicting there wont be much of a difference with any car on the grid?

    1. @johns23
      Yup. With the exception of Ferrari, who come up with a different nose for their car each year.

    2. I think the Red Bull will be an interesting car in terms of aero. We were all certain that last year’s launch car was too simple to be the real one, yet they turned up to Melbourne with it – they chased the low-drag setup and it didn’t work – and I can see them throwing all sorts of aero parts onto it this year.

  16. @keithcollantine is the full shark fin legal again for 2019? (they’ve flip-flopped on this decision too much to keep up with!) Speaking of flip flops, the halo doesn’t look as bad with the aero and colours blended around it a little. Still fugly though! All told the car looks pretty good imo! Even the thumb nose has evolved some elegant aero sculpture and the front wing detailing is quite elegant too.

  17. I like how the colour scheme doesn’t aknowledge the halo and the shark fin.

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