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Haas VF-24 Season Outlook

Haas VF-24: Less Disastrous Season Ahead?

26/02/2024

Haas F1’s VF-24 aims to overcome past struggles with tire degradation and inconsistent performance, promising a season of potential improvement.

Will the VF-24 be less of a disaster than anticipated? Ayao Komatsu, Haas F1 Team’s director, hasn’t made grand promises at the start of the year, seeing his team beginning at the back of the grid.

Haas, with its limited resources, developed the VF-24 with a specific aim: to reduce tire degradation to prevent every Sunday from becoming an ordeal, as was the case last year.

And the initial results are promising, with even some pleasant surprises in terms of pace and consistency.

Ayao Komatsu, somewhat unexpectedly, is smiling ahead of Bahrain.

“Last year’s car was inconsistent, it had quite troublesome and poor characteristics.”

“Depending on conditions – tire condition, wind, or track temperature – the car’s behavior wasn’t predictable.”

“Whereas this year’s car behaves predictably. It’s consistent.”

“Yes, we’re still lacking downforce, especially at high speeds and in balancing the car at medium and low speeds, but I don’t think our F1 has as troublesome and poor characteristics as the previous one.”

“We have to decide what the biggest problem we want to solve is. There’s no point in qualifying 7th and falling back on Sunday. I’d rather qualify 14th but have a car we can drive into the top 10. That’s our goal.”

Does this also mean Haas will be less competitive over a single lap?

“Everyone knows our problem and how frustrating it is, right? Look at Abu Dhabi, the last race of the season, essentially with the car we’re starting this year with. We can qualify 8th, which is fantastic, but we all knew that come Saturday night, we couldn’t do anything on Sunday. We experienced that last year. In that sense, it’s not hard to convince everyone. But at the same time, of course, everyone wants to know how fast our car is in qualifying…”

“But the message had to be clear. If there’s one thing we had to take away from these winter tests, it’s tire management and our pace on long runs. Once the goal is achieved, that’s what we’re doing. Everything else is just noise.”

Magnussen confirms Komatsu’s optimism

Kevin Magnussen got to drive the famous VF-24 for a day and a half during winter testing.

Can he confirm his team director’s statements?

“The feeling I have in the car is that we can push a bit more, it’s a bit easier to manage the tires. They don’t just collapse, whatever you do. It’s a bit easier to manage, so that’s good.”

So, could Haas not be the last team on the grid in terms of race pace, according to Kevin Magnussen?

“In terms of pace, where are we…? Who knows?”

But can we then assure that the tire issues are behind Haas? And what was ultimately the fundamental reason for this structural flaw?

“It’s certain that at the start, you think you’re going to solve the problem – and then you get to the end of the season and you haven’t solved it. So, it’s a good thing that we spent the winter doing our best to address this issue and that we feel we’ve made progress.”

“It’s a very complex issue. It’s a mix of many different factors. Keeping the car and its tires in good condition is not a simple thing. So we continue to push and go fast, and I think we’ve made progress in this area. But are we doing it at a slow pace compared to others? It’s hard to say.”

Haas VF-24 Season Outlook. Haas VF-24 Season Outlook

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