Haas F1 2024 livery

Haas F1’s 2024 Livery, VF-24 Challenges, Team Restructuring


Haas F1 has revealed its 2024 livery, with the VF-24 resembling the evolved VF-23. Team principal Ayao Komatsu discusses development challenges, team restructuring, and the path forward.

Haas F1 unveiled its 2024 livery through 3D visuals and renderings, featuring a car closely resembling the evolved VF-23 from Austin last year. The new team principal, Ayao Komatsu, confirmed that the final version of the VF-24 will closely align with this concept, with some added radical elements, as the architecture won’t be derived from another model.

“In terms of physical changes, as everyone is aware, when we brought the evolution to Austin, it was the blueprint for this year’s car,” Komatsu recalls.

“However, due to the physical limitations of the side impact structure, duct placement, and cooling layout, we couldn’t fully realize the complete concept of the VF-24. I knew exactly where we were heading this year, but everyone got a glimpse in Austin.”

The team’s structure also plays a role in this: “One of the things we’ve altered is how we organize the team’s structure to work together in comprehending and enhancing the car. I like to think that the very first result we’ll witness from this change will be the car’s evolution.”

“Clear Objectives and Vision”

Komatsu reflects on his initial weeks as the Haas F1 team principal, emphasizing his focus on removing obstacles and managing the challenges that the team had faced thus far.

“It’s clear that we’ve been very busy, but the reactions have been very positive. Everyone I talk to sees this as an opportunity for improvement. I believe many people felt the same way, not knowing where this team was headed and how it would progress.”

“We need clear objectives, a vision, and effective communication, while eliminating unnecessary barriers. Everyone should understand what they’re dealing with, how the team is advancing, and our approach to racing.”

“I spend a lot of time engaging with as many people as possible, sharing this approach, and seeking feedback. Obviously, I’m not trying to do this on my own, quite the opposite.”

“We have talented individuals, so my role is to provide them with an environment where they can thrive and bring out their best. Everyone is so helpful, motivated, and positive; it’s fantastic.”

“A New Technical Director in 2024”

The arrival of the new team principal and the departure of Simone Resta have had an impact on the team’s organization: “Our new technical director is Andrea De Zordo. He previously held the position of chief designer and is a highly technical individual.”

“His communication is strong, and he is very committed and receptive to people, so I am very pleased with this appointment. We are currently in the process of recruiting our chief designer, but I believe we have strong internal candidates, so we will be looking to promote from within.”

“Another key role is that of the Performance Director, which did not exist previously but has been created, with Damien Brayshaw, formerly the head of the vehicle performance group, taking on this role.”

“He will oversee and guide improvements in collaboration with the aerodynamics department and all other functions analyzing the full-scale car, including track engineering, vehicle performance group, tire group, and more.”

“A Less Than Ideal Transition This Winter”

Komatsu acknowledges that the late change in team principal has undeniably affected the team’s offseason preparations. He explains the challenges it brought to the team’s structure and management.

“This had an impact because the announcement was made on January 10th, and we were rolling out with our car for the first time on February 11th, which is a relatively short timeline. However, in terms of car construction and test preparation, it didn’t pose operational issues.”

“It wasn’t just about my role but also the departure of a technical director, so there were two significant vacancies to fill. We formalized and communicated this structural change as soon as possible.”

“The timing of this transitional period wasn’t ideal, but I was very impressed by everyone’s mature response. Thanks to that, we managed to minimize disruptions to a great extent. Now that we’ve clarified the structure, we should be able to move forward at full throttle.”

Haas Gears Up to Be “Last” in Bahrain

Haas will be behind schedule at the start of the season as the team couldn’t fine-tune its VF-24 as desired. The 2023 Austin evolution provided valuable feedback but consumed both time and resources.

“In Bahrain, as I’ve mentioned, I still believe we’ll be at the back of the grid, possibly even last. Since becoming team principal, I’ve spent a lot of time conversing with managers, both in the UK and Italy.”

“They are enthusiastic because it’s an opportunity to improve, and there are areas for improvement across the board. The reason our launch car won’t be quick enough in Bahrain isn’t due to the quality of the people we have here.”

“It’s because we started late and paused for two months for the Austin evolution. That significantly diverted resources, causing us to lose time. However, the team is making good progress in the wind tunnel, which is a positive sign, and in terms of characteristics, we’re heading in the right direction.”

“The goal is to have a solid testing program for Bahrain, providing high-quality data for the team to analyze and understand which direction to take in developing the car.”

“This means pinpointing the VF-24’s strengths and weaknesses precisely, then establishing a coherent plan for car updates, something that hasn’t been done before.”

Empowering Drivers in Car Development for Improved Performance

“The drivers will also play a more significant role. Last year, in terms of subjective driver feedback, their understanding of the car’s weaknesses was clear, but we weren’t able to incorporate it into our car development program.”

“With the changes we’ve made within the team, we intend to address this issue by ensuring our drivers are more involved in car development, so nothing is overlooked.”

“As engineers, we have all the data from numerous sensors, but one thing we can’t do is drive the car and feel what’s happening. Therefore, we need to better understand the drivers’ reactions and respond accordingly.”

Avoiding a “Huge Surprise” in Private Testing

Despite the time lost in 2024 preparation to update the 2023 car, Komatsu believes the strategy was the right one because the technical feedback to understand the significance of these changes was crucial.

“Once again, to comprehend the VF-23’s issues, launching the evolved car in Austin proved highly beneficial. Mainly because when we split the cars, with Nico reverting to the previous specifications while Kevin continued with the new ones.”

“We could observe performance differences at different cornering speeds. We gathered a lot of data from this, confirming where we needed to focus our VF-24 development.”

“It was a substantial exercise to undertake and delayed the VF-24 development, but if we hadn’t done it and had a huge surprise during pre-season testing, it would have been a significant setback.”

“It was a delicate balance, and launching the Austin package means that the VF-24’s launch version might not be as advanced as it could be, but at the same time, we have greater confidence in what we are currently putting on the track.”

“We are all realistic that our Bahrain launch car may not necessarily turn heads, but our focus is on working with the VF-24, understanding the car, and then setting the right path to bring it up to the required level.”

Resource Allocation Impact on VF-24 Performance and Recovery Outlook

“During the time it took to build the car to Austin specifications, we had to divert resources from the VF-24 for two months, and it’s the performance we could have gained during that time that we’re missing.”

“The team is gradually recovering, but we need to be realistic because our competitors are smart, and they are also finding performance gains. We know how much we’ve gained since the end of the 2023 season, but I expect everyone to find at least the same level of improvement.”

“At the very least, we should have a stronger foundation with the VF-24. With improved cohesion within the team to unearth performance, we can aim to introduce upgrades relatively early in the season.”

“Everyone grasps” the way forward

The work on the 2024 car and the simultaneous creation of a new structure have helped establish a clearer roadmap and way of working, enabling us to determine how to optimize the car’s development.

“That’s why we’re making changes to the technical organizational structure to ensure that everything we discover on the track translates into the car’s development.”

“If you look at the previous organizational structure, there wasn’t a clear pathway to close the loop on that side. Everyone on the track is now in a closed loop with the aerodynamics, wind tunnel, and CFD departments.”

“Now, even if there’s disagreement, everyone clearly understands why we are developing the car in a certain way. It’s one of the main reasons why we couldn’t improve the car and slipped during the season.”

“We’re already working in this manner, and there’s much better transparency, openness, and communication. Therefore, I believe we have much better prospects for correctly enhancing the car this year.”

Haas F1 2024 livery Challenges, Team Restructuring. Haas F1 2024 livery Challenges, Team Restructuring

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