Haas F1: Radical upgrades planned for American GP

MELBOURNE GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23 during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday April 02, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Simon Galloway / LAT Images)

Mid-season development is often a talking point for Haas F1, given their traditional weakness in this area. However, new reports indicate a significant upgrade package will be introduced to the VF-23 later in 2023.

Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen suffered a disheartening weekend in Italy. Much like in Zandvoort (and most of the year), Haas lacked the speed or longevity to compete for points.

More specifically, the VF-23 fails to look after its tyres. It doesn’t take long for the Dallara-produced machine to lose significant time to its rivals.

Having recently agreed a contract with the team, Nico Hulkenberg didn’t hold back his frustrations in Monza:

We are terribly bad compared to the competition.

“We are the only team that didn’t bring anything with us to Monza. Anyone who does so little can’t expect much. 

“We’re not worthy of points here, and we are far from it… We have to accept that now.”

Typically, the scrutiny surrounding Guenther Steiner’s team is focused on the drivers. However, it seems reasonable for the drivers to apply some pressure on Haas to improve performance.

Since finishing 5th in the 2018 standings, the American outfit has failed to finish higher than 8th in the standings.

If this trend is to be avoided in the future, Haas must develop the infrastructure and capacity to produce new parts mid-season.

According to a report from German outlet AMuS, however, a substantial batch of changes will be fitted VF-23.

It is understood that a series of Red Bull-inspired upgrades will be introduced to help guide Simone Resta’s technical team and their development direction for 2024.

Unless Haas’ terrible tyre degradation is understood and addressed, there is plenty of risk the same errors will be repeated this winter.

Guenther Steiner’s personnel will make these large-scale changes in America’s COTA circuit. After this stage, there will be four race weekends remaining to collect data and confirm correlations.

Given the fantastic step forward made by McLaren in Austria, these updates will be an important test of Haas’ potential in the short and medium term.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang