Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher will race the upgraded VF-22 at Spa, according to Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.
Haas was among the last teams to modify their 2022 car, however at the Hungarian Grand Prix, fresh components were ultimately installed on Magnussen’s VF-22 as Schumacher continued to use the standard car.
This comes after Formula 1 season took a summer break after the Hungarian Grand Prix, but it is now getting ready to resume at Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Guenther Steiner now has stated that the upgrades will be applied to both Haas cars in Belgium, which is good news for Schumacher.
“Yes, both cars will have the upgrade package,” Steiner confirmed. “We had one kit ready before the shutdown so we said we’ll put it on one car to collect some data so when we’re back, we have that data and now we can already work on the set-up, getting out in Spa straightaway.”
Due to their experiences in 2019, where a series of tweaks only served to confuse Haas further rather than improve their performance, the team was hesitant to upgrade the VF-22. As a result, the team eventually went back to their original spec for that season.
The signs of improved performance on the VF-22 are encouraging this time around, though, as Steiner verified that the data collected for the changes in Hungary lined up with what was displayed in the windtunnel.
“We could see that the on-car numbers were correlating to the wind tunnel numbers, which is always a good sign and now we have to get the best out of it in lap time,” Steiner added.
“Before the shutdown, the team looked at the data closely and will do more now they’re back from the break, but at the moment it looks good and hopefully we can better our lap time.”
Haas began their 2022 season as a dominant midfield team despite terminating partnership with Uralkali and after scoring no points in 2021 due to their weak performance.
Although Steiner claims that the goal now is to defend the P7, where Haas presently find themselves in the Constructors’ Championship, moving to sixth is the second battle, performance levels have been quite variable since that great start.
“We haven’t readjusted, we are just back to where we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, now being in seventh,” Steiner said when asked if Haas had revised their goals in light of the VF-22’s impressive performances.
“Hopefully we can keep this position in the championship, that’s battle number one.”
“Battle number two is trying to get to sixth, but let’s see. We will always do our best and try to improve or at least not fall back.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, who is backed by Ferrari, will make his Formula 1 comeback with an FP1 appearance with Haas, making him the third driver for the team to participate in the race weekend action at Spa.
Steiner is hoping that Giovinazzi can put on a great performance again under the Formula 1 limelight now that the FE season is done. Giovinazzi recently finished his debut season in Formula E, a somewhat dismal campaign in which he did not score a point.
“Antonio is the reserve driver of Ferrari and they asked us if he could be in the car just to refresh him,” Steiner explained. “When he gets in the car, he will have finished his Formula E season.”
“So there are no distractions for him anymore and I think he will attend all the races for Ferrari as reserve driver.”
“Knowing our relationship with Ferrari, we’re more than happy to do this. They’re a big help in what we are doing, and I think it’s a good opportunity for Antonio to put him back in the spotlight, going out in FP1.”
“He’s been out of Formula 1 for a year now, running in Formula E, so let’s see what he can do in FP1 so at least he can get accustomed again to the latest specification Formula 1 car.”