Haas F1 has become the first team to reveal photos of their new car, the VF-18, for the upcoming season, doing so via social media on Wednesday.
After finishing eighth in last year's constructors' championship, the American outfit is looking to push on in what is their third season on the grid, with owner Gene Haas hoping to close performance to within half a second of technical partner Ferrari.
The new car already highlights the two main visual changes on all 2018 cars, with the Halo cockpit device fitted and the removal of the shark fin engine cover after attempts to overturn a ban were blocked by McLaren.
Looking closely at the rear, the T-wing has moved and is now located under the rear wing and attached to the supports, that is another feature most cars will likely have after the loophole designers used last year was closed.
The sidepod structure does bear some resemblance to the unique design Ferrari had last year with a striking multi-element turning vane. Expect further winglets and detail to emerge in the bargeboard area when testing begins.
Compared to the design overhaul last year, most cars will likely be an evolution of their predecessors as is the case with the VF-18.
"It’s less about reinvention and more about refinement," team principal Guenther Steiner commented. "You see elements we had from last year on the car this year.
“Our 2017 car was actually pretty good, but we didn’t always get the best out of it, and that’s what we aimed to change in 2018. We got the car as light as possible to carry more ballast. We were able to do a better job of putting the weight where we wanted it.”
Considering the main challenge the team faced in the design phase, he added: “The biggest part of the car’s evolution was the addition of the Halo.
“It took quite a bit of study by the aerodynamicists, but the designers had to work hard to modify the chassis so the Halo could survive the mandated loads.
"The total minimum weight of the car increased because of the halo, and there’s a higher centre of gravity simply because of the Halo’s position but, everyone is in the same boat."
Haas will have Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen behind the wheel for the second straight year.
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