In addition to keeping up with the Ferraris, Mercedes and Red Bulls at Monaco, one must also keep up with the Joneses. That’s why Haas F1 Team is bringing an updated livery to its already quick and ever-improving Haas VF-17.
Sleek tones of gray have replaced the red portions of the car, sans for the angular red accent mark at the rear which has been a trademark of Haas F1 Team since its debut last season. It’s a styling upgrade for a locale where upgraded style is a way of life.
Monaco is the epitome of Formula One. High-powered and sophisticated cars competing in a playground built for the high-powered and sophisticated. Monaco is the smallest and most densely populated country in the world, but its reach is global. It’s why Haas Automation – the largest machine tool builder in North America – uses Formula One to showcase its advanced machining technology to a worldwide audience.
Racing goes global May 28, and it’s the Monaco Grand Prix that kicks of motorsports’ most glorious day. For those in America – home to Haas F1 Team – it's breakfast in Monaco, lunch in Indianapolis and dinner in Charlotte via the Monaco Grand Prix, the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600.
But first, Monaco. Organized racing began in 1929 when Anthony Noghes, son of a wealthy cigarette baron, proposed a grand prix through the streets of Monte Carlo. On April 14, the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix was held and it was won by William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti. In this year’s 75th Monaco Grand Prix, the same basic layout crafted by Noghes will challenge today’s Formula One drivers.
Challenge is the key word, for there is no more challenging venue than Monaco. The 78-lap race around the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn street circuit features many elevation changes and the tightest corners on the series’ 20-race calendar. It also lays claim to having the only tunnel in Formula One, which forces drivers to adjust their eyes from glaring sun to shade every lap.
Monaco is the shortest circuit in Formula One and home to the sport’s slowest corner – the hairpin turn six – which drivers navigate at a pedestrian 50 kph (31 mph) while in maximum steering lock. It’s why three-time Formula One champion Nelson Piquet said racing at Monaco was “like trying to cycle around your living room”. Despite being the shortest track, Monaco is the longest Formula One race in terms of time and, if hampered by wet weather, it will certainly go to its full, two-hour time limit. As a result, the glitz and glamour of Monaco is juxtaposed by the gumption it takes to navigate a street circuit that is nearly 90 years old and lined with menacing Armco barrier.
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen have seven Monaco Grand Prix starts between them – five by Grosjean and two by Magnussen. Grosjean’s best result is eighth in 2014 and Magnussen’s is 10th, also in 2014.
As drivers for the only American team in Formula One and the first since 1986, Grosjean and Magnussen will enjoy a high profile in the United States as Monaco kicks off the day’s cavalcade of racing, ensnaring race fans from early morning to late at night.