Kevin Magnussen has confirmed that Haas are working on major upgrades for their VF-23 car with their home race in Austin – or perhaps even sooner – earmarked for its arrival.
The F1 2023 campaign has been a highly disappointing one for the Haas team so far, with an unwanted spectre from their past returning to haunt them again.
Having started the new regulatory era strong, Haas a leading midfield team in the early stages of 2022, it has been a story of decline since then, with tyre degradation once again establishing itself as their Achilles’ heel.
B-Spec Haas challenger on the way?
Over one lap the VF-23 has shown strong pace at times, Nico Hulkenberg even qualifying second in Canada, but the trend of falling back on race day means Haas have scored only 11 points so far in F1 2023.
But ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Magnussen was pressed on rumours that his Haas team are preparing to bring a B-spec VF-23 to their second of three homes races this season, the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas, Magnussen confirming that upgrades are indeed on the way.
McLaren already have shown the value this season that introducing a B-spec challenger can bring, having surged from battling for points to podiums with their upgraded MCL60.
Asked if he can confirm that the B-spec Haas is coming for Austin, Magnussen replied: “No, I don’t think I can confirm that. But it’s certainly a lot of stuff that we’re trying to bring to the car. Whether it’s B-spec or not, I don’t know.
“But it’s a lot of stuff and it’s exciting.”
Pushed for whether these upgrades will arrive in time for Austin, Magnussen replied: “Hopefully, I don’t know exactly when it’s due to arrive, but hopefully sooner rather than later.”
What Magnussen is sure about is that these upgrades are needed for Haas, claiming the team were the “weakest” they have been all season last time out at Monza.
Magnussen was the final classified driver in P18, with Hulkenberg finishing P17.
“I think we were the weakest that we’ve been this year in Monza,” said Magnussen. “Super difficult for us in both qualifying and the race. So tough one to swallow.
“But we know that we have been lacking in development throughout the year. I think we started the year in a decent spot, we were able to squeeze into the top 10 once in a while and other teams have just made big improvements.
“Williams have made a big step forward and obviously McLaren has made a massive step, but we’re waiting for that step for us.
“There’s some interesting stuff going on in the background that we might be able to bring to the car this year, and I’m excited to see those things get to the car and try it out.”
Haas sit P8 in the current F1 2023 Constructors’ standings, 10 points behind Williams a position ahead.