Haas to bring much-needed updates in second half of VF-23

Jaden Diaz
4 Aug, 2023

Haas arrives at the summer break with a set number of targets. The American outfit is currently eighth in the constructors, level on points with Williams and ahead of Alpha Tauri and Alfa Romeo – generally consistent with the VF-23’s pace.

The small American team, under the technical guidance of ex-Ferrari engineer Simone Resta, has kept ahead of a small group of direct competitors. The second part of the season will be essential to maintain this advantage in the standings.

Tyre degradation is the VF-23’s Achilles heel

During the first part of the season, Guenther Steiner’s team has shown good potential over one lap, especially compared to what actually materialised in the race.

On several occasions, Hulkenberg and Magnussen were able to get to Q3, only to collapse with their performance on Sunday. With these F1 cars, it is a consistent trend that gaps in qualifying are very small compared to the race.

On Sunday, the gap between the teams tends to widen, above all due to the “tire factor”. The root cause of Haas’s woes is that the VF-23 primarily suffers from excessive tire degradation.

It enjoys good performance over one lap, but extreme wear on the compound is a characteristic that unites it with the Ferrari SF-23 from the start of the season.

It is clear that buying the mechanics from Maranello and having an aerodynamic concept very similar to the SF-23, there are similar characteristics between Ferrari and the VF-23.

Tyre management depends on numerous factors, both aerodynamic and vehicle dynamics (set-up, mechanics).

In addition to the Power Unit and the gearbox, Haas purchases from Ferrari all the parts relating to the remaining mechanical components, i.e. the entire front and rear suspension department.

The Red Bull anti-dive solution has been adopted by many teams, while Ferrari, and therefore Haas, have opted for less aggressive choices.

Some technical sources have claimed that the behaviour of the Red Bull suspension has been the subject of great attention from the FIA. However, nothing irregular has been found on the RB19. This clearly a strength at Milton Keynes.

Ferrari-Haas front suspension comparison 2023

During the season, Ferrari managed to balance performance between qualifying and the race through developments, partially sacrificing performance over a single lap.

Everything was done to have less critical tire degradation and more linear race performance. Haas, of course, doesn’t have the “firepower” in terms of upgrades that Ferrari does, and the VF-23 is pegged to its earlier-year issues.

With regard to the new casing of the compound introduced by Pirelli, no major changes were found, which is an idea similar to what was also affirmed by circles closer to Ferrari.

According to the American team, there are no reasons to believe that the new compound has directly favoured someone more than others.

Still, it should be emphasised that some teams manage to adapt to changes sooner, and this can guarantee some advantages.

The development of the VF-23 is not finished

The engineering team led by Simone Resta has not finished its work to extract more potential from the VF-23. Work in the wind tunnel will resume at the end of the shutdown, and further updates on the American car are expected.

We saw the first real upgrade in Monaco, with the implementation of Ferrari-style supports on the front wing. The second major upgrade came with a new floor in Hungary.

In the first Grands Prix after the summer break, further updates are expected in the front area of ​​the single-seater, even if much of the work has already been moved towards 2024.

However, the updates underway on the current car will also bear fruit on next year’s VF-24.

Regulatory stability, in fact, “forces” small teams not to give up development completely. Regarding sidepods, which are often discussed, Haas is the only one who has not taken the Red Bull path.

A change of philosophy for this year has not yet been established, though it is being evaluated for 2024.

On the VF-24, work is taking place to make important changes, which will concern not only the bodywork but also the entire design of the floor.

bodywork of the Haas VF-23

With these cars, the target is to have the most suitable aerodynamic delivery in the various phases of the lap through an aero-mechanical grip. In terms of efficiency, on the other hand, Simone Resta’s car has given an excellent result so far.

With DRS open, the VF-23 was second only to Red Bull in the first part of the season, only to be caught up by the other teams, who gradually recovered.

Ferrari Power Unit: Reliability issues are from Haas’ side: For 2024, they will be renamed with the Alfa Romeo brand

The continuation of the Alfa Romeo brand in F1 is certain through a sponsorship with Haas for the coming season.

The 2024 Ferrari power units of Gunter Steiner’s team will be renamed to Alfa Romeo, who will end their partnership with Sauber this year, officially on a course to become Audi.

On the subject of engines, there was much discussion at Haas due to the reliability problems that the Ferrari turbo-hybrid units have only on the VF-23.

There have been no intrinsic defects linked to Italian power units, with errors in “procedure” instead triggering the recent failures.

In synergy with the Maranello engine department, investigations are taking place to understand the root of this issue.

Author: Rosario Giuliana
Co-Authors: Giuliano Duchessa , Andrea Vergani

Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang

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