In “survival mode” at the moment and then facing a race against “time” to understand the upcoming VF-23’s upgrades, Guenther Steiner can only hope the Austin updates do what the box says.
Although Haas had a fast car in the early rounds of this championship, the VF-23 has had monumental tyre issues, so much so the team has gone from qualifying inside the top ten to finishing last.
Recording three top-ten results in the first five races, it quickly became apparent that while the Ferrari-powered car had good qualifying pace, its race pace was a different story.
Haas will put a B-spec car on the track at the US GP
However, of late even Saturdays haven’t been going well with Haas out-developed and out-paced by their rivals, leaving them with just 12 points in total and eighth in the Constructors’ standings.
The team has not put a single updated part on the car since the Dutch Grand Prix with the American outfit pinning their hopes on a B-spec car that will hit the track at the United States Grand Prix.
Until then, as Magnussen told Motorsport.com: “It’s survival mode.
“We got a point in Singapore with this car. So that track suited our car better. There’s always reasons to try our best, and we will in Qatar as well.
“I’ve never been there, but it’s a very fast track, in a way a little bit like this track, long, flowing fast corners. It’s not really our track.”
But while his team boss Steiner is hoping Haas’ Austin upgrades put them back in the fight for points finishes, the 58-year-old knows that until the car is on the track, Haas won’t know what they’re genuinely dealing with.
“Hopefully the package works in Austin,” he said, before pragmatically adding: “And if it doesn’t work, at least we learn something for next year.”
Haas will have just five races from the United States Grand Prix until the end of the season to understand the revised car.
“Absolutely, and we had very little time to develop it,” he said.
“And when we decided we do it, we were wide open just to bring it to Austin to have as many races as possible.
“I’m not just trying to be careful. I’m just saying hopefully it works, and it gives us what we think it gives. And if it doesn’t do that one it does the other thing, helping us for next year.”