Haas F1 team unveil special livery ahead of their home Grand Prix with “heavily updated VF-23”

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Haas F1 team today unveiled a once off livery they will sport this weekend for their home Grand Prix as well as announcing a sweeping package of updates for the VF-23, set to be introduced this weekend also.

Render of Haas' special VF-23 livery for the US Grand Prix
Photo credits: Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 team are due to introduce their first major upgrade package of the 2023 season with a complete overhaul of the aerodynamics. The package will see the team dramatically change the overall concept of the VF-23, pivoting to a concept similar to that of the dominant Red Bull, with the aim of carrying further improvements into 2024.

We can expect changes to the floor, engine cover, sidepod inlet, sidepods, quarter panel and padding gills according to the team.

Alongside the upgrade, the team will run a one off special livery for their home Grand Prix this weekend at COTA. The stunning livery pays homage both to the team’s American heritage, as well as the Starlight Children’s Foundation with a bright yellow star on the rear wing as described in the team’s press release.

“Our look and feel is encapsulated under the tagline ‘We The People’”

Speaking on the team’s special edition livery, team principal Guenther Steiner called attention to the reference to the US constitution included, as well as showing his gratitude to the fans of the team.

“One thing that is different this season, is our look and feel is encapsulated under the tagline ‘We The People’” Steiner explained. “The first line of the American Constitution.

“We’ve been through a lot in our short time, but along the way have amassed a very loyal, and growing fanbase, and we want to recognize them. Yes, it’s some nice marketing, but anyone who works with my team knows how passionate they are, and how funny and genuine our fans are. This race is dedicated to them as, we the people, make Haas what it is.”

“It just wasn’t there anymore…”

Steiner went on to delve into the team’s substantial aerodynamic updates, admitting a change in concept was needed as the team were unable to improve their performance while working with their current base.

“The upgrade on the VF-23 is aerodynamic. We changed the concept of the car because what we started with, because of the new regulations last year, we couldn’t make any more gains performance-wise.

“Creating more downforce and less drag, it just wasn’t there anymore, so we needed to change concept, to which is commonly known as the “Red Bull concept” or the “downwash concept”. It is a substantial update, and we’re able to do this within the cost cap because we didn’t have any updates at the beginning of the season because again, going back, we couldn’t find any performance that we could make parts to put on the car.”

“We’re all secretly hoping it performs better than what we currently have…”

Kevin Magnussen also discussed the upgrades, saying he is hoping for a substantial improvement to the team’s pace. The Dane was quick to highlight that the main goal however, is to gain information to inform the team’s plans for next season.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t hope it will give us a big improvement,” Magnussen admitted. “But I think there’s actually a second element to bringing this upgrade which is to research for next year. I think we’re all secretly hoping it performs better than what we currently have but actually the bigger target with this is, is the research and the learning we can do for next year’s car.

“I think it’s been clear that in very specific circumstances our car can perform, but it’s a too narrow window and we need to broaden it and make it more user friendly and compliant with a bigger variety of tracks and conditions. Hopefully we’ll be able to follow easier and be more friendly to tyres.”

“We need direction for next year…”

Nico Hulkenberg echoed his teammate in highlighting the goal of researching for 2024, while being cautiously optimistic. The German also broke down the issues which the team have targeted with this upgrade package.

“The update is highly anticipated,” said Hulkenberg. “It’s been a long time coming and it’s aimed to improve our performance, characteristics, and the weaknesses of the car we’ve found which has made us struggle especially on Sunday. It’s to help tyre wear, consistency, and better performance.

“Kevin and I since the beginning of the season, or after every session, feedback our findings and feelings to the engineers and designers. Hopefully, there’s a big jump in performance, but also, we need direction for next year – where we’re going to go with this car, which philosophy we’ll follow and which direction to take.”