Inside F1: Haas


  • First Appearance
  • Total Rebirth
  • Debut Season And Early Years
  • Highs And Lows
  • Long Way To Go
  • Challenging Future
Moment of happiness for Haas after conquering a good position in the race.


The world of Formula 1 is a highly competitive, fast-paced, and exciting field. Among the teams that have emerged to make their mark is the Haas F1 team, an American racing team that premiered in 2016. 

Since its inception, Haas has gradually made a name for itself and carved its niche in the highly competitive racing world.

In this article, we will take on a journey through the years, exploring the history of Haas, its ups and downs, and where it stands today.

First Appearance

History goes back to 1985 when Team Haas or mostly known as Haas Lola, debuted in the highest competition representing the American nation. 

The short adventure started from a partnership between businessman Carl Haas and the American conglomerate Beatrice Foods that culminated with an agreement with Ford’s services to supply their engines. 

Unfortunately, this would only last until the 1986 season. In two seasons, the team would end up making discreet performances and far below the level of the best on the grid.

Former champion Alan Jones came out of retirement to drive for the team in both seasons. Patrick Tambay and Eddie Cheever also competed for Haas in the latter year. With Beatrice’s departure, the organisation eventually terminated its activities in the category.

Haas car competing in the 1985 F1 season.

Total Rebirth

Haas F1 was founded in 2014 by the successful American entrepreneur Gene Haas, who made his fortune in manufacturing and other fields.

Haas had been a long-life racing fan, and his passion led him to first found NASCAR’s own Stewart-Haas Racing. But he wouldn’t stop from there since he had sights on starting his Formula 1 team. Finally, in 2014, he decided to make that dream a reality and began working towards establishing his team.

A year later, Haas F1 was officially announced as the first American-led Formula 1 team in thirty years. The team’s headquarters are in North Carolina, but operations in Europe are based at the former Marussia factory in Banbury, UK, which was acquired by Haas. 

The team solicited Italian manufacturer Dallara to build a chassis with a power unit supplied by the legendary Ferrari. After this, former Jaguar and Red Bull technical director Gunther Steiner was an essential piece in the puzzle and became the team principal. With all boxes ticked, Haas confirmed that its new car passed the mandatory FIA test and was ready to race in 2016.

Gene Haas, the owner of the Haas F1 Team, at the team's presentation.

Debut Season and Early Years

The team debuted in the 2016 Australian Grand Prix, and to the surprise of many, it rapidly showed its potential with the driver duo composed of Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez. With them, Haas F1 scored points in three of its first four races, an impressive feat for a brand-new team.

Grosjean finished sixth in Australia, making the team the first to score on its grid debut since Toyota in 2002. At the same circuit, his teammate Esteban Gutiérrez was involved in an awful accident that destroyed Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.

In the following GP in Bahrain, Grosjean shone once again and took fifth place. At the end of the season, it conquered an eighth place in the constructors’ ranking and an understandable sixteenth place in the drivers’ championship.

Despite their strong start, the team faced their fair share of struggles and misfortunes. In 2017, Haas experienced controversy surrounding their sponsorship with the energy drink Rich Energy.

Additionally, they faced criticism over the resemblance of their car to that of the Ferrari team. However, despite these setbacks, Haas F1 continued to elevate their performance, and their hard work eventually paid off.

Haas’ overall performance in the 2017 season was satisfactory, maintaining an eighth place in the constructors’ rankings, but Grosjean moved up to thirteenth. His new teammate Kevin Magnussen was close behind in fourteenth.

Drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean with the team's car.

Highs And Lows

The signing of Kevin Magnussen in 2017 proved to be a turning point for Haas F1. The Danish driver brought invaluable experience and skill to the team, later helping them achieve a fifth-place finish in the 2018 season, an unprecedented success for the American side.

That season is yet the team’s best to date. While Magnussen secured ninth overall, Grosjean stayed in the midfield, and the team took fifth place among the constructors.

Despite their impressive performance, the downfall would be inevitable in the following seasons. These were more problematic than usual and counted with several incomplete GPs. Respectively, Magnussen and Grosjean obtained sixteenth and eighteenth positions, and Haas dropped to ninth place in the constructors’ championship in 2019.

In the meantime, the most frightening episode for Haas took place in the 2020 Bahrain GP when Romain Grosjean’s crash caught everyone by surprise. This moment is described as one of the most gruesome accidents in Formula 1 history, and thankfully there were no fatalities.

The team has struggled to achieve the same level of success as in previous years, and management felt it was time to reshape the team. However, the future outlook for the team remained positive, with plans for continuous improvement and growth.

Kevin Magnussen cheering the crowd in Haas colours.

Long Way To Go

For 2021, Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher were chosen to replace the starting drivers. Coming from F2, the intention was to give a renewed breed to the team capable of being more competitive.

The Haas team accepted the millionaire offer from a Russian businessman, Dmitry Mazepin, father of the pilot Nikita Mazepin, to sponsor the team through Uralkali and paint the VF-21 with the colours of the Russian flag during the stage of sanctioning Russia for state doping.

However, the war between Russia and Ukraine caused the forced departure of Uralkali due to the ties of Mazepin’s father with the Russian oligarchy.

The same season was the only one without any points in Formula 1 for Haas so far as the team was preparing for the start of F1’s modern aerodynamic age in 2022.

Ahead of the 2022 season, Haas announced that Russian driver Nikita Mazepin was leaving the team in response to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Then, Kevin Magnussen returned to join forces with Mick Schumacher and had an immediate impact. The Danish scored points in the opening races, including fifth place in the season-opening Bahrain GP. The 37 points conquered were enough to secure eighth place in the constructors’ standings, the highest results since the brilliant campaign in 2018.

Before the end of the season, Haas announced that Mick Schumacher would not continue with the team after the German driver’s two seasons saw him score points twice.

As a result, they immediately revealed Nico Hulkenberg as Schumacher’s replacement. The veteran driver has been back as a full-time driver since 2019, although he contested two races in 2020 and 2022 after replacing drivers who were unavailable due to Covid-19 cases.

Haas's car with the colours of the Russian flag.

Challenging Future

The journey of Haas F1 is a testament to the resilience and determination of the team. While faced with challenges and obstacles, Haas F1 has continued to progress and establish itself at the pinnacle of motorsport. 

For the 2023 season, things seem to continue to be hard for Haas. This year, the team will count on Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg to battle against the last spots in the standings. 

Even with such hard knocks, there is anticipation and excitement for what lies ahead for the team, and fans look forward to witnessing what’s next for Haas F1.

The drivers line-up ready for the 2023 season.
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