The first 2019 Formula 1 car was revealed to the world on Thursday at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in central London, when the Haas F1 Team unveiled their impressive black and gold liveried Rich Energy Haas F1 VF-19 that will be competing in this season’s FIA Formula One World Championship.
Now known as the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team, the new-look car not only has beautiful clean lines, but it also has a striking and impressive brand-new black and gold livery, replicating the colours of the premium British energy drink Rich Energy, the team’s new title partner for 2019.
The team’s driver line-up for the 2019 season are Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen, who peeled back the covers along with team principal Guenther Steiner and Rich Energy CEO William Storey, to reveal the gleaming show car to eagerly awaiting guests assembled in the main rotunda of the RAC.
The VF-18 was successful in getting the Haas F1 team into a solid fifth-place in the last year’s constructors’ championship following their debut in 2016, and the hope is that the VF-19 will build on that success and propel the team even higher this year. Haas Automation continues to have prominent placement on the new car, along with the brands of continuing team partners JACK & JONES, PEAK, BlueDEF, Richard Mille, Alpinestars and of course Pirelli.
“This is the time of the season when you hope you’ve got designs right and you can be competitive straight away,” said Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation and chairman of Rich Energy Haas F1 Team. “The new car looks distinctive, not only in terms of its color scheme, but also with the new regulations in play. Hopefully those design changes brought in for 2019 will improve the racing on-track, and more importantly give us a shot at making more of an impact at each Grand Prix.”
Team principal Guenther Steiner commented; “It’s important that we keep progressing as a team, and this season is no different. Our partnership with Rich Energy is another positive example of moving forward as an organization. We’re pleased to see their colors on the VF-19, we welcome them as they join our valued partner group in utilizing Formula One as a global marketing platform. While 2018 delivered our best season to-date, the year showed, sometimes sharply, that we still have areas to improve on as a team. On-track, our push for performance started early with the VF-19, our next step is to get to Spain and utilize our time there wisely to prepare for Australia.”
Keen observers will notice the simplified new front-wing of this season’s car. It is 200mm wider and 20mm higher, which should help the drivers follow each other more closely without losing too much downforce and creating more opportunities to overtake, which has been a criticism in previous seasons. There is also a far simpler rear wing, which is 20mm higher and 100mm wider, and will help the drivers to slipstream other cars. The new car should also be less aerodynamically disruptive this year with improved air flow from the front wing, as the barge boards are now smaller and repositioned, having been reduced in height by 150mm and moved forward by 100mm.
“I’m naturally delighted to finally see the Rich Energy colors and stag logo in Formula One with Haas F1 Team,” said William Storey, CEO of Rich Energy. “Partnering with the team has already significantly raised the profile of our brand, this livery unveil will again elevate us to another level. It’s fantastic to see the VF-19 decked out in black and gold, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen similarly attired. We’ve worked closely with Haas F1 Team to ensure we present a strong look, one we’re now very proud to take around the world competing in Formula One.”
There is no doubt the new car has a very powerful and purposeful look to it and is reminiscent of the old JPS Lotus that raced between 1972 and 1986 with its distinctive black and gold livery.
The actual physical unveiling of this season’s car will take place at 8:00am on February 18th outside the team’s garage at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, ahead of pre-season testing. You can then see the new Rich Energy Haas F1 VF-19 in action at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 17th for the season-opener.
For more information on the Rich Energy Haas F1 Team please visit their website www.haasf1team.com
Simon Burrell is Editor-in-Chief of Our Man Behind The Wheel and Our Man On The Ground Travel and Lifestyle Magazine.
Photographs courtesy of the Royal Automobile Club and Mark Lewis Photography