Haas boss Guenther Steiner is convinced the team could head F1’s midfield battle in 2024 despite a challenging 2023 season.
Haas enjoyed their strongest season in years in the first year of F1’s ground effect rules in 2023, registering the third-highest points total in the team’s history with 37.
That was good enough for eighth place in the Constructors’ standings – the American outfit’s best result since 2018 – but Haas were unable to replicate their form in 2023.
Guenther Steiner hopes for much-improved Haas in F1 2024
Despite some eye-catching qualifying results for Nico Hulkenberg – second only to Max Verstappen’s Red Bull in a rain-affected session in Canada – Haas were restricted to just four points finishes across the 2022 races and finished bottom of the Championship for the second time in three years.
An ambitious Red Bull-inspired upgrade introduced at the team’s home race in Austin failed to bring immediate rewards, with Kevin Magnussen’s 10th place finish at September’s Singapore Grand Prix the last time Haas scored a point in 2023.
Steiner is refusing to get downbeat after a largely miserable season for his team – and believes Haas could even emerge as the leading midfield car in 2024.
He told Sky F1: “Everything is possible. Everybody’s in a good place: financially, as a business, technically.
“We ended up last this year, but we could end up very much at the top of the midfield next year.”
Asked to outline his hopes for next year, he added: “Success. Being back in the midfield.”
Steiner’s optimism is in stark contrast to Hulkenberg, who struggled to hide his frustration with Haas’s lack of in-season progress as the campaign deepened.
After claiming that “you can’t compete in F1 at this rate” following the unsuccessful Austin upgrade, Hulkenberg offered a grim assessment of the team’s 2023 B-spec car in a recent interview with German publication Auto Motor und Sport.
Asked what the team had achieved with the new-look car, he replied: “Nothing. [It’s] sobering and alarming. You can’t hide that.
“We have to be honest with ourselves and admit that it doesn’t meet our standards when we do so much work to rebuild the car and then the end result is almost the same. It’s our job to do better next year.”
Asked then if lessons have been learned ahead of 2024, he added: “I can’t say that with confidence right now.
“We’ll probably have to organise ourselves a little differently internally so that the same thing doesn’t happen again.”
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