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Haas F1's VF-24 Shows Promise Despite Japan Setback

Haas F1’s VF-24 Shows Promise Despite Japan Setback

12/04/2024

Despite setbacks at the Japanese Grand Prix, Haas F1’s VF-24 demonstrates growing potential for the upcoming 2024 season.

While admitting that the Japanese Grand Prix was a missed opportunity to score points, Haas F1 team director Ayao Komatsu believes it demonstrated an upward trajectory and the potential of the VF-24 for the rest of the 2024 season.

Haas F1 scored in two of the first four races—including a double points finish in Australia—but failed to do so at Suzuka where Nico Hulkenberg finished 11th.

The German was 5.5 seconds behind Yuki Tsunoda at the checkered flag, after a botched second start that cost him several positions at the beginning of the race.

“Nico’s first start was very good; he gained positions, but on the second start, he simply didn’t release the clutch correctly, so the anti-stall kicked in, and he lost a lot of positions,” explains Komatsu.

“So, considering he came back from 18th to 11th place, 5.5 seconds from Tsunoda, if he hadn’t made that mistake, he would definitely have scored points.”

“It’s frustrating and a missed opportunity. But the positive side is that this circuit, in the fourth race, is the worst for us so far. I’ve always said we need four or five races to see where the car is at. This is by far the worst circuit, and if you can do that on the worst circuit, it’s very positive.”

Kevin Magnussen also had his race compromised by losing positions during a pit stop, but analyzing the overall form of Haas in the first four races, Komatsu says the team can be encouraged even though it’s clear that improvements are needed.

“Ultimately, as you can see, we don’t have enough high-speed downforce. So that’s what we need to improve, and also some features of the front suspension of the car. But honestly, this is our worst circuit, so it’s encouraging. I didn’t expect that.”

“I was hoping to get just one car into Q2, and the fact that Nico achieved 12th place was incredible. I always felt it was going to be very difficult even to stay in that position. But we did better despite Nico’s botched start.”

“Operationally, it wasn’t great, with Kevin losing two positions in his stop. Without that, I think Kevin had a very good chance of staying ahead of Tsunoda, and of course Nico without that disastrous start would have scored points. So it’s really positive.”

Haas F1's VF-24 Shows Promise Despite Japan Setback

Haas F1’s VF-24 Shows Promise Despite Japan Setback. Haas F1’s VF-24 Shows Promise Despite Japan Setback

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