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Haas' 2017 car passes crash tests

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Haas boss Guenther Steiner has confirmed the team's car has passed all of its crash tests ahead of the 2017 season.

Haas' second year of Formula One coincides with sweeping regulation changes which are set to radically alter the look of the grid. The team worked on its 2017 car for much of last season in parallel with its 2016 programme, which featured a limited amount of upgrades throughout the season.

Steiner says the team is on course for the Barcelona test and that the team has just passed a major target.

"We did our chassis crash test this week and we passed that one, so we are pretty on schedule," Steiner told ESPN. "That's always a pretty good marker, a big goalpost, if you make that the rest should fall into place. Every year it is the same for everybody -- you're always last minute but you figure out how to get over that one."

This year's calendar sees winter testing start at the very end of February, with the Australian Grand Prix on March 26 a week later than it was in 2016. Despite having longer a longer timeframe for development Steiner says it does not ease the strain on developing the new car.

"Yes, the season starts a bit later but that doesn't do anything for building a car because you release the car later as well. But we we learned a lot last year [about the process]. You learn every day."

Steiner also revealed the team is undecided on a launch date for the VF-16's predecessor, with the team planning a filming day at the Barcelona circuit before testing begins on February 27. Haas did the same last year, utilising the rule allowing teams two 100km promotional filming events over the season, to complete installation laps at the Barcelona circuit before testing began.

Haas then launched the VF-16 digitally on the morning of the first test before its official unveiling in the pit lane shortly before the lights went green. The team is leaning towards a similar launch plan this year but is yet to finalise plans.