Haas announces more technical appointments for 2016
Haas F1 has confirmed the purchase of Marussia's Banbury base and the appointment of key technical staff, including former McLaren designer Rob Taylor and former IndyCar chassis designer Ben Agathangelou.
American outfit Haas will join the grid in 2016 and are using Marussia's former headquarters to supplement its Kannapolis factory in North Carolina. A team statement said this was crucial in "allowing for easier and quicker access to the team's overseas suppliers and streamlined logistics for when the team travels to Formula One venues in Europe."
Taylor takes up the role of chief designer after joining from Marussia. Before that Taylor had been senior design team leader at McLaren between 2006 and 2010, following stints at Benetton, Ferrari, Arrows, Jaguar and Red Bull. Agathangelou has switched to Haas from engine supplier Ferrari, where he managed the upgrade of the team's Maranello wind tunnel and testing systems in 2012. Agathangelou also designed the IndyCar chassis for the 2012 season during a stint with Dallara.
Another appointment confirmed by the team is Dave O'Neill as team manager. Like Taylor, O'Neill joins from Marussia and helped turn the team into an F1-ready outfit in six months when he joined in 2009. He previously had a stint as team manager at Jordan between 1998 and 2005 before a stint in A1GP.
Taylor and Agathangelou have already designed 60% of the team's Ferrari-powered 2016 challenger. Haas says it will be "ready to go racing" next season.
Team principal Guenther Steiner said: "While there is still a lot of work to do, a lot has already been accomplished for Haas F1 Team to be competitive when we join the F1 grid in 2016. Our technical partnership with Ferrari has allowed us to develop our car and our people at an exceptional pace. The way we're going about our F1 team is new and different, but it's working.
"We're committed to our plan, we're committed to F1 and, most importantly, we're on schedule. This time next year, our cars will have already been tested and we'll be readying them for Melbourne."