Haas continue aggressive development, more upgrades in Miami

Jaden Diaz, Piergiuseppe Donadoni

Haas F1 announced the final season of their partnership with Nico Hulkenberg last week. The German driver has signed for Sauber, believing in the ‘German’ project of Audi, which has purchased the Swiss team and will officially enter F1 in 2026. There is no imminent announcement from the American team to announce Hulkenberg’s replacement. However, Ollie Bearman is the clear favourite for that seat.

Bearman is the official Haas and Ferrari reserve driver. In 2024, he will have six free practice sessions with Haas. The first will be in Imola, followed by Spain, Silverstone, Hungary, Mexico, and Abu Dhabi.


Haas is one of the surprises of 2024 so far, currently sitting 7th in the standings. They scored points again in China, with a very positive Sunday performance by Nico Hulkenberg. This was partly thanks to the new Sprint format, which allows for set-up changes before Friday qualifying.

“We took a step in the wrong direction for the Sprint, but fortunately, we managed to correct it for qualifying and the main race,” Komatsu admitted after the race.

The American team brought its first major update package of the season to Shanghai. A new floor was the most notable change. Since only two floors were ready, it was initially decided to only mount the updates to Kevin Magnussen’s VF-24.

However, the American team wanted to opt for an aggressive choice. Thus, they took what should have been Magnussen’s spare part and mounted it on Hulkenberg’s car.

The American team made this decision because of how competitive the midfield is. Therefore, all upgrades can be critical. Both VF-24s took to the track in the same configuration, allowing for important data collection across the weekend. 

Still, two different rear wing configurations were used from Friday to Sunday. This points towards the team’s poor baseline set-up at the beginning of the weekend.

“The preparation phase of the weekend, I think, is still one of the areas where we are still a little weaker than the other teams, who have better tools than ours,” said Ayao Komatsu.

Still, the Japanese engineer remains confident that the right choices are also being made in those areas.


The technical innovations brought by Haas to China allowed Nico Hulkenberg to finish in tenth place. He crossed the line just ahead of Ocon, who ran with a lighter A524 and upgraded floor.

“It’s not a huge step, just a small step, but we believe in the right direction,” said Komatsu. He downplayed any concerns about the effectiveness of the upgrades at Haas. However, as what the team measures on track this season is slightly different to what is shown in the wind tunnel, a comparison between the China-Miami package and the launch package will be made at the Imola weekend.

“I’m eager to really evaluate the situation in Imola, to see if what we’ve been working on is really going in the right direction. We are developing aggressively, and we hope that in Imola, we can demonstrate that what we have done is right, Komatsu said.


The aggressive development at Haas will continue in Miami, where updates initially planned for Imola will be brought forward.

Komatsu announced it in China, stating that this choice had not yet been communicated to all internal departments at that time. Still, the team’s aim is to continue with its current process and keep its momentum until mid-season, with positive results.

“The numbers in the wind tunnel are positive. Unlike what happened last year where with the VF-23 project, we were flat,” Komatsu has made known.

And, while Haas will try to go on the attack in Miami, Racing Bulls will also advance parts, such as a new fund, that were planned for Imola to defend what is considered to be the first position in the midfield.