Komatsu believes Haas can consistently score points in 2024

Komatsu believes Haas can consistently score points in 2024

Haas F1 team boss Ayao Komatsu believes the American team has proven that it is possible to consistently score points in 2024.

The performance of Haas Formula 1 on one of its worst circuits, Suzuka, demonstrates the team can consistently contend for points throughout 2024, according to team boss Ayao Komatsu.

This is a significant improvement for the squad, which concluded the previous season with only 12 points placing them at the bottom of the constructors championship. So far, they have already claimed a third of that record after only four races this season.

Their first point came through Nico Hulkenberg, who finished tenth in Saudi Arabia, and in Australia, he along with teammate Kevin Magnussen both placed in the top ten. They currently sit seventh in the constructors championship clear of Williams, Sauber, and Alpine.

Hulkenberg narrowly lost out on points in Japan due to an anti-stall malfunction at the restart, but Komatsu was happy with P11 in what used to be one of Haas’ worst circuits.

Komatsu, who led the team’s engineering department up until replacing Guenther Steiner as principal in January just before pre-season testing in Bahrain, stated the team had ideas for more improvements despite losing further ground to RB in the Constructors’ Championship.

“Suzuka, in terms of our strengths and weaknesses, this circuit really exposes the weakness of our car, so if we can do that at this circuit, it’s positive,” explained Komatsu. “Then we are trying to bring the new parts aggressively to the future races, so that should add performance to the car, that should make the whole thing better.

“Nico without that disastrous start, he would have scored points, so that is really positive. The honestly encouraging thing is we could race this much on this circuit, I wasn’t expecting that.”

Notwithstanding the advantages, Komatsu underlined that the American outfit still needs to make improvements to be competitive with its 2024 car. The Japanese engineer pointed out that Haas will work to improve overall downforce in high-speed corners in the upcoming months.

“Ultimately, as you can see, high-speed downforce, we haven’t got enough,” said Komatsu. “So that’s what we need to improve, and then certain characteristics on the front axle blocker, we need to improve, but honestly, this is our worst circuit.”

Hulkenberg lost the opportunity to lead the squad to three consecutive points finishes, and it wasn’t only due to the anti-stall problem. They also lost their chance to challenge RB’s Yuki Tsunoda for P10 due to a delayed pit stop.

“It was a last-minute call, we basically reacted to [Valtteri] Bottas, so we didn’t, we wanted to be on the same lap, we didn’t want to be that behind,” Komatsu explained. “So they made a call, and then we reacted to it, but in a very short space of time, and so guys weren’t ready.

“And then because we are the first garage in the pit entry this time around, so it’s kind of like worst of both cases, so we lost time, we still came out in front of Bottas, but we lost two positions, which is quite frustrating.”

Komatsu believes Haas has room for development going into the upcoming round in China, which will take place at a circuit that F1 hasn’t visited since 2019 owing to Covid restrictions.

He also stated that the cars’ setups during the Japanese Grand Prix weekend were far from ideal, which will make the Sprint format in Shanghai challenging.

“I think judging by this weekend, for instance, we didn’t set up very well this weekend, so FP1 our car balance wasn’t right, and then we had a wet session in FP2, so we lost a session, then that meant we are behind on FP3,” Komatsu admitted.

“Of course it’s a similar challenge, you know, Shanghai is Sprint weekend, so you have to get it right from FP1.

“So that is a challenge for us, but we learnt a lot this weekend, in terms of how we can improve operationally, set up all the car, reacting to the situation, there’s lots and lots of things to improve.

“But again, with enough positives, so we focus on that, and then trying to get the start car right for Shanghai.”

Leave a Reply