Haas still struggling with performance ahead of 2024 F1

Haas still struggling with performance ahead of 2024 F1

Haas F1 marked the first team to reveal its initial car design for the 2024 Formula 1 season, however they acknowledged a gloomy outlook for the upcoming campaign plagued with performance challenges.

The American-owned team was the first to reveal their 2024 F1 contender on Friday as new Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu predicted that they will kick off the upcoming Formula 1 season among the back-runners.

The Haas VF-24 was unveiled in a virtual launch and the digital renders revealed the car as a development of a concept that was introduced at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin last October. The car launch comes ahead of its track debut scheduled on February 11th at Silverstone.

The American team settled on a minor livery change based on the black-and-white design that ran in 2023 as it enters a season without long-serving team boss Guenther Steiner in control.

According to the renders, the car’s technical design includes a pushrod front suspension and a pullrod rear suspension just like the 2023 model. It also features a front wing and a highly-ramped sidepod profile, replicating the significant updates made to the previous VF-23, which Haas brought to the US Grand Prix in October last year.

However, Haas’s 2023 fortunes were hardly turned around by the Austin upgrades, and even with the VF-24’s launch Komatsu cautions that the car launch specification doesn’t appear to be the breakthrough that Haas wants.

Komatsu acknowledges that developing the spec helped him better understand the VF-23’s issues, particularly the reason behind its notoriously slow race pace. However, he also acknowledges that the Austin package may have limited the VF-24 launch car’s potential developments.

“Out of the gates in Bahrain…I still think we’re going to be towards the back of the grid, if not last,” said the Japanese engineer.

“The reason our launch-spec car is not going to be quick enough in Bahrain is not because of the quality of the people we have here, but it’s because we started late and then we stopped for two months to do the Austin upgrade.

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“It really diverted resource, so we lost time there, but the team is finding good gains in the wind tunnel so that’s positive and in terms of characteristics, it’s going in the right direction.

“We’re all realistic that our launch car in Bahrain will not necessarily turn heads, but our concentration and focus is to work with the VF-24, understand the car and then define the correct pathway to upgrade the car.”

Last year marked the team’s second finish at the bottom in the last three seasons as they saw a decline in performance, falling from eighth place in the 2022 constructors’ championship to tenth.

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