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Haas F1 Aims for Momentum at Japanese GP

Haas F1 Aims for Momentum at Japanese GP

01/04/2024

In a thrilling season outset, Haas F1 secures unexpected points finishes, challenging pre-season predictions and eyeing success at the Japanese GP.

Haas F1 has emerged as one of the pleasant surprises early in the season, achieving two points finishes in the first three races, including a double top-10 finish in Melbourne. Ayao Komatsu, the team’s director, is hopeful of maintaining this momentum at this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“Having raced at three very different circuits this year, I’m delighted we’ve scored points twice, with one point in Jeddah and three points in Melbourne. We’ve demonstrated that our race pace is superior to our qualifying pace, especially in Melbourne, which is clearly an advantage,” notes Komatsu.

“However, the Melbourne qualifiers revealed the VF-24’s weaknesses, and unfortunately, we expect similar challenges at Suzuka due to the circuit’s demands, particularly in its high-speed corner sector.”

“When we encountered high-speed corners in Bahrain, Jeddah’s sector 1, and Melbourne, it was evident our car fell short in high-speed areas, making Suzuka’s sector 1 a significant challenge for us.”

“How we address our lack of speed, grip, and balance needed for qualifying performance at Suzuka will be crucial, as overtaking is not easy on this track. It presents a challenge, but we have some ideas and plan to conduct experiments on Friday to improve in this area.”

“In terms of race pace, as in Melbourne, I expect it to be better than our qualifying pace. Thinking about our race strategy, we need to consider how we can capitalize on this, aiming for a better race strategy at Suzuka.”

Suzuka “doesn’t seem to suit” Haas F1

Nico Hülkenberg acknowledges the difficulties in qualifying on a demanding track with a challenging car. Yet, the German is excited to return to Japan and curious to see how the team has addressed tire degradation on such challenging circuits.

“The track is a classic and a real icon. It’s technical and demanding, making the perfect lap in qualifying tough to achieve, which adds to the intrigue,” Hülkenberg stated.

“The fans are always enthusiastic and passionate – it’s always an experience – and they give extraordinary gifts, so I bring extra luggage to take them home!”

“I think Suzuka’s mix of low, medium, and high-speed turns, and potentially being our first high-degradation circuit this year, will be interesting for us to learn and see where we stand in that regard.”

“It’s a challenging and historically high-degradation race, so it’s important for us to learn for the future. There are positive signs this season, and we feel better in the car than six months ago, but it’s still early days.”

Kevin Magnussen is also a big fan of the Japanese circuit: “Suzuka is one of the classics. From a driving perspective, it’s probably one of the most enjoyable races of the year. Japanese fans are unique, and their culture is different, making it always an experience.”

“On paper, Suzuka doesn’t seem to suit us, but I believe we have a better foundation in the car than last year. I hope that even if we don’t qualify as well, we can still have a good race.”

Haas F1 Aims for Momentum at Japanese GP

Haas F1 Aims for Momentum at Japanese GP. Haas F1 Aims for Momentum at Japanese GP

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