Haas uncover various ‘leads’ that will even impact VF-24 design

Sam Cooper
Kevin Magnussen rounds Turn 2. Melbourne April 2023.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen heads through the opening corners at Albert Park. Australia April 2023.

Guenther Steiner says Haas have a few “leads” that they believe will help unlock some more performance for the VF-24 in the coming races.

The mechanics and engineers at Haas will have been left scratching their heads this season after the car performs well in qualifying but less so in the race itself.

New recruit Nico Hulkenberg is the prime example with the German finishing behind his starting position in all but two races so far in 2023, the same number as team-mate Kevin Magnussen.

Team boss Steiner is well aware of the issue and said they have a few “leads” to explore in an effort to solve this issue.

“We’re investigating the very good performance we have in qualifying and not-so-good performance during the race at the moment,” Steiner said. “We’re trying to pinpoint it but for the next races we’re maybe going to try and find a sweeter spot between the two sessions, qualifying and the race, so something in the middle. We’re working hard on it and trying to find out what we can do over the next races to make it better.”

“We’re working very hard to try and find out why the discrepancy of being very fast [in qualifying] and not so good in the race is happening. We’ve got a few leads and for sure it will impact the VF-24 design. We obviously have to take that feature out of the car next year.”

In the form of Hulkenberg and Magnussen, Steiner has a couple of very experienced F1 drivers and made note of how crucial their feedback has been in leading the development direction.

“I must admit, I’m actually very happy with both Kevin and Nico about how they’re an integral part in trying to sort the problem and find the solution, how we tackle the short and long-term fix for this, and they’re both very positive. Not about the performance in the race right now but positive that we can get out of the problem we have now.

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“We’re going into this race [Austria] partly a little bit like a test session as well. We have a lot of things to try and cure our problems with the race pace, so we have a few ideas. As we have two races now this weekend, we’ve got double the amount of time to try to do different things.

Obviously, we always try to get the best result possible but also maybe we compromise the best result possible for really understanding what is happening with our car on race day.”

Haas are currently P8 in the Constructors’ Championship having picked up eight points.