Is the Haas VF-22 a white Ferrari F1-75?

The theme has been driving Formula 1 since 2016. Since Haas entered Formula 1 with a model that pushes collaboration between two teams to the limit. The US racing team buys about 70 percent of its cars in Maranello. The competition suspects that there could be a little more than the rules state.


The anger is always especially high when Haas scores regularly, and with its 240 employees, it scores better than teams more than twice the size. In 2020 and 2021, when the Americans were hiding at the end of the field and Ferrari sank into the middle of the field, the three-way pact between Haas, Ferrari and Dallara didn’t interest anyone.


Wilhelm

Ferrari and Haas share a similar philosophy, but the differences between the cars are obvious to the naked eye.

Private building in Maranello

With the major regulatory reform, this group has taken on a new dimension. Budget and wind tunnel time are limited. The concept of cars is completely new. Haas took about 25 engineers on board from Ferrari, who had to be dismantled there due to the cost cap. CTO Simone Resta used to be the chief designer on the factory team.


The offices of the Haas squad are located in the old company wing next to the new Ferrari factory in Maranello. “Anyone who wants to get in must use their own entrance. Our computer systems are completely separate,” Guenther Steiner tries to take the momentum out of the discussion. The neighbor is the Ferrari division, which builds the Le Mans supercar. “No F1 employee from Ferrari comes there.”


Now that Ferrari is suddenly fighting for victories and the world title and Haas already has the third fastest car on the field and has already finished in the points twice, the old skeptics are back in the track. How did both teams make such a big jump in the standings compared to last year? And how could Ferrari and Haas be based on a very similar concept with long, wide, high sidewalls and a thin airbox?


Cost cap forces employees to shift

And there it was again, the old suspicion that the factory racing team and its customer were exchanging information about development. Haas began wind tunnel work on the 2022 car in January 2021, and the team was also entitled to the most wind tunnel time as the last team to do so at the last World Championships. When Ferrari and several other teams switched to the 2022 project in June, Haas was already in the second development phase of the VF-22. The first with slim sidepods similar to Mercedes, McLaren and Williams were phased out.

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In theory, the hint from Haas to Ferrari was enough to not pursue the concept in the first place. This saves the first team time. You do not need to exchange prohibited data or transfer IP for this. But you can imagine the same between Alpha Tauri and Red Bull, or between Williams and Mercedes.


Christian Horner, Team Principal, Red Bull confirms: “Engineers will always go from point A to B and take what they have in mind with them. Especially now that the big teams have to cut staff under budget cap pressure. When we go from 100 engineers they have to say goodbye. , and a smaller team like Alpha Tauri still has the ability to handle people, so it’s totally normal to recommend these people. But in this scenario, the IP was not transferred from one team to another.”


Magnussen - Leclerc - Haas VF-22 - Ferrari F1-75

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Ferrari has a longer nose. The entrance to the side chests is different. Just like arranging the bulkheads for the Venturi canals on the lower body. Other distinguishing features: under the hull and a slot in the side trunk.

Three teams against Haas

Three teams are said to have asked the FIA ​​to check matches between the Haas VF-22 and Ferrari F1-75. Officially, of course, no one claims that it was. One refers to the other. All three can be found under the leadership of McLaren, Aston Martin, Alpine and Mercedes. In the past, they were happy to point out the abuse of overly close alliances.


In any case, the team heads’ answers to Haas’ question provide insight. “Haas has taken a huge leap forward from last place. It is an interesting move. It is a learning curve for us because as an organization of 2,000 people that was successful in the past, we are now struggling with much smaller teams. He has done a fantastic job,” commented the Mercedes team boss Toto wolf wink.


At the same time, Wolff calls for the rule reform: “The change in personnel between two teams and the physical proximity to the infrastructure used creates points of contention that are not good for our sport. We shared a wind tunnel with Aston Martin for two years. That everything was going as usual. But if you did a good job, you should be acknowledged and unquestioned. That’s why we have to find solutions in the future that prevent close cooperation between the teams.”

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Haas VF-22 - Ferrari F1-75

motorsports pictures

From the back you can see that the side chests (trough) are different. On the Haas, the rear wing mounting brackets flex more. The difference in the rear wing seems big, but Ferrari is driving less aggressively.

Doubts of alpine camp

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer also let doubts shine through between the lines: “Haas is a small team that jumped from last to third during the winter. That’s a bit of a surprise. I was expecting the balance of power to change with this Big base reform changes a bit as it favors teams which has more knowledge and better infrastructure. But I am convinced that the FIA ​​will investigate the issue and come to the right conclusions about how similar these two cars are.”


In fact, there are relatively few similarities to be found in the details. Except for the basic architecture. But these similarities can also be found in other cars from friendly teams. The Alpha Tauri has side cases like Red Bull and Williams like Mercedes. The slim airbox is a feature of all three Ferrari teams. The engineer is advised not to accept the gift of a flat and compact Ferrari engine. Nor is it surprising that suspensions and their pivot points share similarities. Haas buys it legally from Ferrari.


Where are the differences?

The differences begin with the chassis. This builds as wider as the nose of the Haas VF-22. The front wing hangs over the Ferrari’s first wing element and over the Haas’ second wing element. The Haas front wing and side fin end panels are shaped very differently from the sister car. The wing adjustment mechanism, which is an indication of where the vortices are intentionally generated, is more present on the American Ferrari.


The Haas’ cooling inlets are round, on the Ferrari’s flat mailbox slots. While Ferrari controls the flow at the edge of the side legs with a lower fender on the front splitter, the Haas has two that stand out more than the comparison body. Ferrari places a sink on the roof of the sideboxes where hot exhaust air from the radiators is blown through eleven nostrils. Haas have gills in the same place, but much smaller, and on a flat surface.


Ferrari allows the side flaps to run flat at the rear. The lower part of the chassis has an elongated hatch in front of the rear wheels for the discharge of air. Haas hit two pieces at the bottom edges, one much further forward. The ground slope in front of the rear wheels was individually shaped on both cars, suggesting independent features in the diffuser. The fin that stands on the stilts in the back of the Haas airbox has no other vehicle in the field.

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The hind wings have different characteristics. The two shafts that rise around the main blade of the Haas. Ferrari’s DRS mechanism is more powerful for this. The lower rear wing elements are also shaped differently.

Haas VF-22 - F1 - Formula 1

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Haas has a flimsy DRS compared to Ferrari.

Common wind tunnel or not?

Haas’ supernatural rise is largely due to the time advantage that Americans have painstakingly bought for themselves. The 2021 car was not developed for this purpose. Alfa-Sauber shows how important the time factor is under the cost cap. The Swiss racing team stopped work on the previous car at the end of April and deliberately focused on a very lightweight build. Now the Sauber C42 is the lightest car in the field, under Red Bull and Mercedes by up to 15 kg.


When Haas suffered their first defeat in Melbourne, conspiracy theories were immediately raised that Ferrari had cut off the power from his B-team so discussions wouldn’t stoke. This was due to the surprisingly weak Haas speeds on Saturday. “What nonsense,” team manager Guenter Steiner shook his head. A different engine mode will not be allowed to be dictated to the customer team than the one used by the factory team itself. In fact, in Australia, Haas failed to find a setup that properly uses the tires.


The FIA ​​investigations will not achieve the desired result of the instigators. However, disagreement over the synergies between Team A and Team B will continue. For example, sharing a wind tunnel. Alpha Tauri team boss Franz Tost thinks it would be crazy for cost and sustainability reasons if each team had to have its own wind tunnel.


McLaren team boss Andreas Seidl has a different opinion: “For us, it’s a matter of principle. No two teams should have more than the engine and the interior of the gearbox in common. There should not be any sharing of the infrastructure. We know from the FIA ​​that from It is impossible to monitor all forms of transfer. What you cannot control must be banned. The danger is that sharing information will make Team B better than it is while helping Team One.”


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