BARCELONA, Feb 21 (Reuters) - Formula One newcomers Haas, the sport’s first U.S.-owned team in 30 years, presented their 2016 car on Sunday with a grey and red livery and the designation VF-16 to mark it out as the ‘Very First’.
“Our goal with this car is to score points,” declared principal Guenther Steiner, who previously worked in Formula One with Jaguar and then Red Bull when the Austrian energy drinks company bought that team.
“First, we need to go out there and show that we can do the job, that we can finish races, that we are respected by the fans and other teams in the paddock. Then, we want to score points. That is the ultimate goal.”
The car, designed in Italy by Dallara and powered by Ferrari, will make its first public appearance on track at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya on Monday at the start of pre-season testing.
The team carried out a brief ‘shakedown’ of the car in Barcelona on Saturday but Ferrari had the circuit to themselves on Sunday for private filming.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean and Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, who was a Ferrari reserve last season after previously racing for Sauber, are the Haas drivers.
The season starts in Australia on March 20.
Haas are Formula One’s first completely new team since 2010, when Lotus Racing, Hispania and Virgin Racing made their debuts. Only the latter still survives after changing it’s name to Marussia and now Manor.
Hispania (HRT) folded in 2012 and Lotus Racing, which became Team Lotus and then Caterham, disappeared after the 2014 season. Neither scored a point.
Haas have forged close links with Ferrari, however, taking most of their components from the sport’s most successful team as well as engine and gearbox. Ferrari won three races last year and were the closest challengers to champions Mercedes.
Team founder and chairman Gene Haas is co-owner of the successful Stewart-Haas NASCAR team and his Haas Automation business are the Formula One outfit’s primary sponsor. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)