Haas F1 Team will debut in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2016, where it will become the first American-led Formula One team since 1986.
Getting a start-up team to the grid is a massive logistical and technical undertaking, but under the leadership of team principal Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team has many vital pieces already in place despite the 2016 season being a year away.
Augmenting Haas F1 Team’s United States home in Kannapolis, North Carolina, is the recent purchase of a facility in Banbury, Oxfordshire, U.K. The 39,350 square-foot (3,655 square-meter) building will serve as Haas F1 Team’s European base, allowing for easier and quicker access to the team’s overseas suppliers and streamlined logistics for when the team travels to Formula One venues in Europe.
Construction of the team’s equipment, from transporters to the pit apparatus to garage setup, is well underway. Upon completion, all will be housed at Haas F1 Team’s Banbury location.
Key personnel have also been added, notably Dave O’Neill as team manager, Rob Taylor as chief designer and Ben Agathangelou as chief aerodynamicist.
O’Neill came to Haas F1 Team from Marussia F1 Team, joining what was originally Manor GP in 2009. Recruitment of personnel, the purchase of equipment and infrastructure, oversight of car design and supplier selection were just a few of O’Neill’s many duties. O’Neill was the team manager for Jordan Grand Prix from 1998 through 2005 before joining A1GP, a racing series promoted as the “World Cup of Motorsport”.
Taylor also joined Haas F1 Team from Marussia, where he held the post of deputy chief designer. Prior to Marussia, Taylor was the senior design team leader at McLaren from April 2006 through December 2010. Before McLaren, Taylor was head of vehicle design for Red Bull Racing, Toro Rosso and Jaguar beginning in 2002.
Agathangelou paired with Haas F1 Team from Scuderia Ferrari where he managed the upgrade of the team’s wind tunnel and testing systems in Maranello, Italy, in March 2012. Prior to that, Agathangelou was with Dallara, serving as an engineering consultant for a number of projects the Italian racecar manufacturer had dating back to 2009, which included the technical lead for the Campos F1 project, 2012 technical upgrades for GP2 and the World Series Renault, design and development of the DW12 Indycar chassis, and management of the Alfa Romeo 4C “low cost” sports road car project.
Agathangelou and Taylor have already designed the 60-percent scale model of the car Haas F1 Team will race in 2016. The duo has logged numerous hours in the wind tunnel it shares with Haas F1 Team technical partner Scuderia Ferrari. By working diligently to develop the scale model now, Haas F1 Team will be ready to go racing in 2016.