Haas focus on high-fuel running and analysing new Ferrari pull-rod

Jaden Diaz
27 Feb, 2024

The Haas team’s 2024 pre-season was quite different from previous seasons and ended with greater confidence.  The path taken finally seems to be the right one.

In the first 24 hours of seasonal work, the objective was very clear: to understand the race performance of the VF-24. Primarily, this involved the management of tyre degradation, which was the main weak point of last year’s car.

“I think we achieved our goal. We managed to understand the tyres better and also to give direction to our aerodynamic department for future developments,” announced Ayao Komatsu.

The new Haas team principal was relatively happy after the three days of running.

Bahrain’s Sakhir circuit, from a tyre wear point of view, is certainly very tough. This helped Haas and Ferrari understand their tyres at a demanding circuit across many temperatures.

Only Haas and Red Bull did not improve their 2023 test times

In the initial program of the Haas team, there was no desire to test the VF-24 with a low fuel load.

However, their very efficient running gave them the luxury of completing a low-ruel run. The result was not exceptional, although it should be emphasised the team’s set-up was oriented towards race day.

Haas

However, the doubt remains, even as regards Ferrari itself, that the steps forward on the race side could influence the extraction of maximum potential in qualifying.

By going faster in the race, will you lose a bit of pace in qualifying?

This was the question posed to technical director Andrea De Zordo.

“I hope not, but I’m not 100% sure” was the response. In the first weekend of the season, the American team must find a compromise.

The Austin update wasn’t a big step forward, but the first in the 2024 direction

During the Austin GP weekend, Haas brought to the track a major package of updates to its VF-23, radically changing the concept. Much was expected.

However, as also happened to Mercedes and Ferrari, the new concept only produced a small step forward.

“It’s clear that it wasn’t the step forward we were hoping for, given the size of the package. However, it was in line with our expectations,” De Zordo said.

Haas
The updated Haas VF-23 in the Austin pitlane

Despite the lack of performance it produced, these updates were crucial to the VF-24’s current platform.

“In Austin, we brought a first version of the new concept, a basic level, but during the winter, we evolved it, finding more performance and a step that I believe could be important,” the technical director explained.

During the winter, the most important work focused heavily on the functioning of the floor. This, of course, is where so much performance is generated in modern Formula 1.

The new Ferrari pull-rod suspension is much narrower at the bottom

On the track, the VF-24 is a step in the right direction.

“Clearly only three days of testing have passed but we are optimistic because everything seems to be working well,” stated the new technical director engineer, who then wanted to talk about the new ‘innovative’ Ferrari rear suspension.

During the presentation of the SF-24, Formu1a.uno was able to reveal that a lot of work had already been done with the rear suspension of the SF-23 on the miniaturization of the internal components to minimize the bulk in the lower part, in a very delicate position of the single-seater.

With the 2024 specification, another step forward was taken with an even more in-depth rework. It was the Haas team principal who confirmed those rumours:

“The new suspension is much narrower in the lower part.

“This gives you more freedom in diffuser design and is also better for all the fins you have inside the wheel corners (brake ducts), as well as having changes in the way it works mechanically.

“So it is something that improves both aerodynamics and mechanics,” concluded De Zordo

Ferrari has thus maintained previous knowledge of a type of suspension used for many years, trying to combine it with some more peculiar characteristics of the push-rod mechanics, which all teams adopted except Ferrari, the Haas team and Williams, which remained with the suspension Mercedes 2023.

Author: Piergiuseppe Donadoni

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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