With the first race of the 2016 Formula 1 season just 22 days away, new racing machines have been unveiled as nervous drivers pose obediently for photos upon wheels.
While plenty of cashed-up entrepreneurs and their teams have come and gone chasing their F1 dreams, new teams outside of the established manufacturer circle in the modern age are arguably becoming rarer.
The 2016 season will feature one such team, with Haas F1 Team becoming the first US-led F1 outfit in 30 years preparing to grid up.
It comes in under the guidance of tool-maker Haas Automation boss, Gene Haas. This, however, isn’t the first time the Haas name has appeared in the F1 pit garages, with Carl Haas’ Haas Lola competing in the 1980s.
Carl, however, is no relation to Gene Haas; and the new Haas F1 Team is the work of Gene. Gene also co-owns a NASCAR team in the US.
Under the name VF-16, the new Haas racer has been unveiled this week and participated in its first test in Barcelona.
“From an international standpoint, Formula 1 is the highest echelon of racing, and Haas Automation builds the highest-quality machine tools,” Gene Haas said.
“When you hear ‘F1’ you know exactly what it is - a global racing series that showcases the latest technology and attracts the best talent in engineering and design. Haas Automation has an excellent reputation in the United States and I want that reputation to grow worldwide.”
Can Haas F1 Team be more than an also-ran in the 2016 season, or beyond?
The team has potentially started off on the right foot, by aligning itself with Ferrari which will supply Haas with power units.
In a four-horse race last season, Ferrari’s power units were regarded as second-best to the dominant Mercedes which ultimately claimed both Driver’s and Constructor’s Championships.
Haas lists its goals for the 2016 season as finishing races and scoring points, along with earning the respect of fans and on-track rivals.
For the rest of pit lane, changes include Renault taking over the Lotus team for 2016, while the Manor F1 team returns.
Other teams to reveal their war-paint for the 2016 season include Mercedes-AMG, Williams, Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull - with Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo fronting up for his third season with the team.
Ricciardo says he has slimmed-down for the 2016 season, thanks to a new diet, and that the team’s recent test session with the new car was “pretty good”.
The 2016 Formula 1 season kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, March 17-20.
Check out our gallery below, and top of page, featuring all of the 2016 F1 cars.