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Haas Targets Consistency in Upcoming Races

Haas Targets Consistency in Upcoming Races

18/03/2024

Haas F1’s Director, Ayao Komatsu, highlights the team’s positive strides in tire performance and setup improvements, with high hopes for the Australian GP.

Ayao Komatsu, Haas F1’s Director, has expressed satisfaction with the team’s work over the winter. The initial two races have demonstrated improvement in tire degradation, and there’s optimism for further validation of these advancements in Australia.

“After focusing our pre-season testing on last year’s major weakness – our race pace – I believe the first races, held at two very distinct circuits under different conditions, have left us quite pleased with the progress made in terms of both the car and setup,” Komatsu remarked.

“In the upcoming races, we need to prove that we cannot draw any definitive conclusions until we’ve completed four races at four different circuits, with varying tires and weather conditions. Between Bahrain and Jeddah, our performance was very strong, marking a significant positive outcome.”

“Scoring points in Saudi Arabia was extremely crucial. From the end of pre-season testing, we knew we were in contention for points, competing with at least four other teams.”

“I was slightly dissatisfied after the Bahrain Grand Prix, feeling we could have enhanced our strategy to maximize our chances. However, in Jeddah, we achieved this by optimizing the team’s strategy, with Kevin creating space for Nico.”

“From there, both drove flawlessly, with Kevin maintaining his lap time target and Nico making no mistakes while extending his stint. Kevin also demonstrated his pace once he was in clear air.”

“I’m looking forward to Melbourne; it’s a markedly different circuit. The downforce level will be similar to Bahrain, but the track characteristics vary. Bahrain focuses more on traction, whereas Melbourne offers a mix. There are also front limitations, and at high speed, it becomes more restricted, with a very different turn type.”

Haas Faces the “Graining Challenge”

He is hopeful that Melbourne will further confirm Haas’s performance: “In terms of car setup, even though the requirements differ, we will continue to prioritize long-run pace. Degradation won’t be as low as in Jeddah, nor as high as in Bahrain, but somewhere in between.”

“This will also be the first time this year we’re using the C5 tire compound. Historically, we’ve struggled to get the tires to work in qualifying, so this will be interesting.”

“Another key factor is tire graining, which previously dominated tire degradation. We haven’t experienced severe graining this year so far, so this will be a new challenge to manage this weekend.”

“Bahrain features uneven grip and limited rear traction, whereas Jeddah is much faster, with smooth tarmac and lower grip levels. Melbourne has a similar downforce level to Bahrain, but it’s not as limited in the rear, features high-speed turns, and the turn type differs.”

“When we go to Suzuka, known for its famous Sector 1 with medium and high-speed turns, each has different demands. So, after these four races, we’ll be able to draw a better conclusion about the strengths and weaknesses of the VF-24 and how we can manage it.”

Haas Targets Consistency in Upcoming Races. Haas Targets Consistency in Upcoming Races

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