Team boss Gunther Steiner was clear that the renders show it in an earlier phase of the development, with more to come when the VF-22 hits the track for the first time at Barcelona.
Aside from the livery, which is an evolution of last year’s design, there’s plenty for us to chew over that’s different from the renders and the show car that FOM presented last year.
Perhaps the most obvious difference is the team’s approach to the sidepods, with a very narrow inlet used to feed the radiators within.
A relatively large undercut is also noticeable under the sidepod, which aligns well with the suspension elements in order that airflow might be fed around the sidepod without stealing too much from the entrance to the Venturi tunnels beneath.
Photo by: Haas F1 Team
Aft of this, the sidepod bodywork flares outwards to meet the maximum dimensions prescribed. Due to this, they also taper very quickly to create a ramped sidepod design like we have been used to over the past few years, which suggests that the radiators are cantered in a similar fashion too.
As you’d expect, Haas has looked to make the rear of the car as narrow as possible too, with a very slender cooling outlet shown in the render that would likely have to make way for something more expansive at the circuits that demand more cooling.
There’s no sign of the cooling panel with louvres that the regulations permit at this stage either.
Returning to the front of the car, we can see that the VF-22 sports a push-rod front suspension layout, contrary to the pull-rod layout that we expect to see from McLaren. This also hints at Ferrari following a similar path.
The render also reveals that Haas has taken a different approach to the design of the front wing endplate than the one seen on F1’s show car, with a curvature midway up that tilts the surface back outboard, rather than the inward curvature seen on FOM’s examples.
The trailing edge of the endplate is also straight, whereas the show car has some curvature. This will undoubtedly offer different aerodynamic characteristics, especially when we consider the diveplane which is mounted in a similar position.
The team has also opted for the four front wing elements, which is the maximum on offer, with the uppermost parts swept upwards in the central region to encourage them to do the work, freeing off the lowermost element and mainplane to help feed them and improve flow to the underfloor.
Haas VF-22 nose detail
Photo by: Haas F1 Team
The upper three elements of the wing connect with a stub nose design that floats over the mainplane.
The mainplane’s leading edge is upturned more in the central portion of its span and has two arcs (red arrows) that follow the curvature of the nose.
These might create small vortices, similar to what we used to have, albeit likely not as powerful, with the last generation of wing where the neutral section met the flapped section and created what was known as the Y250 vortex.
The small arcs may also be driven harder by the geometry of the flaps above as they meet with the nose (red arrows).
The VF-22 follows in the footsteps of its predecessors when it comes to the design of the roll hoop and airbox, featuring a triangular design that Ferrari is also expected to return to this year.
Meanwhile, the small shark fin design seen on the engine cover of the show car is replicated on the VF-22. It has the twin swan-neck style mounting pillar design, albeit Haas has adjusted the design to suit its rear wing characteristics.
The rear wing shown by Haas follows the prescribed conditions it must meet, but appears to be of a higher downforce configuration than the show car, with a deep Gurney flap also present on the trailing edge of the upper flap and a V groove cut into the element to reduce some of the drag it would generate.
Like the show car, the render shown by Haas does not have the DRS actuator or pod but it will be present on the car when it’s tested ahead of the season.
The beam wing returns in 2022 having been absent since 2014. And whilst it’s possible to have a two-piece design, it appears, at least from the render, that Haas has decided to utilise just a single piece that’s mounted to the crash structure in a butterfly-like design in order to comply with the regulations regarding its proximity to the exhaust tailpipe.
It’s also worth noting that the team has utilised a much boxier design when it comes to the shape of the diffuser, rather than the stylistic variant shown on the show car. The diffuser is framed by the skirt-like brake duct winglets we already expected to see, along with another pair mounted higher on the brake duct fence.
The differences shown compared with the show car and renders provided by FOM, even for a design earlier in the gestation period, gives heart that there’s still scope within the regulations for teams to come up with different interpretations.
Hopefully we’ll be treated to some of those as the rest of the teams start unveiling their cars next week.