Nico Hulkenberg unhappy with “terribly bad” Haas development

4 Sep, 2023

Nico Hulkenberg could only manage P17 at the Italian GP, suffering from a lack of performance and fast-degrading tyres. Teammate Kevin Magnussen finished just behind in P18, underscoring a poor weekend for Haas.

Unable to end the team’s pointless streak, Hulkenberg was displeased with his VF-23. The American outfit is experiencing another year of disappointing development, falling further behind its rivals.

Although 8th in the standings is a reasonable position for Guenther Steiner’s squad on paper, their limitations are becoming increasingly apparent.

McLaren, Aston Martin and even Williams have shown meaningful progression over the last twelve months. The same cannot be said for Haas, whose seemingly inevitable mid-season decline is becoming an annual occurrence in Formula 1.

Every other team brought specific rear wings to Monza, a relatively routine practice in F1 at the temple of speed. Haas’s failure to do this is a painful reminder of where they stand in the pecking order.

Hulkenberg was blunt in describing the situation after crossing the chequered flag:

“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. 

Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Haas VF-23 retired from the race.
02.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Spielberg, Austria, Race Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

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

“In 14 days, we’ll continue on a track that maybe suits us a little better… I don’t expect any huge bright patches.” 

Guenther Steiner stated early in 2023 that Haas was preparing a robust development plan to avoid their traditional Achilles.

This hasn’t transpired, with performance largely unchanged and tyre management still a significant problem. Hulkenberg climbed to 10th after lights out in Monza, but – predictably – he fell down the order later in the race.

Although there’s been plenty of scrutiny on the team’s driver pairing, a small budget and lack of autonomy are more pressing concerns.

Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang



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