Speaking at the unveiling of the new Haas F1 car for 2017, team owner Gene Haas has said that being involved in Formula One has given the team a level of standing within the sport that it couldn’t otherwise have achieved.

He added that this extended to the machine tools business that has made him a billionaire, which is how he can justify the costly outlay in Grand Prix racing around the world.

“Being a Formula One participant brings a level of credibility that you just won’t get through traditional advertising,” says Haas, whose team made its bow in Formula One just under 12 months ago.

  • Haas officially introduces the VF-17!

“People are kind of ‘show me’ people, like show me what you can do and then I’ll believe in you.

“That was the initial concept – to convince people of our ability to do things others can’t, and I think that translates into being a machine tool builder.

“Bigger, Better, Faster, Lighter is what we strive for in the machining industry – and it’s what we strive for in motorsports.

“People see what we can do in Formula One, and people believe Haas Automation can build world-class machine tools.”

Haas added that the name of the new chassis – VF-17 – had roots in the machine tools business where the ‘V’ stood for vertical, which is an industry standard designation for a vertical mill.

The first CNC machine (computer numerically controlled) manufactured by Haas Automation was the VF-1 in 1988, with the ‘F’ added so that it unofficially stood for ‘very first one’ rather than prefiguring Haas’ eventual move into Formula One nearly three decades later.

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