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.
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.
The Monaco Grand Prix is broadcast live on NBC beginning at 7:30 a.m. EDT/4:30 a.m. PDT/1:30 p.m. CEST. It is followed by the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500, which rivals the Monaco Grand Prix in terms of prestige. It is broadcast on ABC beginning at 11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT/5 p.m. CEST. Then, after 1,065 kilometers (662 miles) of racing in Monaco and Indianapolis, the longest race on the Monster Energy NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule begins – the Coca-Cola 600. This 400-lap race around the 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway totals 600 miles (966 kilometers) and lasts more than four hours. It begins at 6 p.m. EDT/3 p.m. PDT/12 a.m. CEST on FOX. If you’re a motorsports fan, your cup runneth over.
For Gene Haas, founder and chairman of Haas F1 Team and co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series, the sun will literally rise and set on his racing endeavors.
Haas F1 Team will start this ultimate day of motorsports aiming for point-paying finishes that will bolster its fight in the constructors standings. It’s currently in eighth place with nine points, five behind seventh-place Renault and four ahead of ninth-place Sauber.