Haas “got away with” their problems at the start of 2023 F1 season as others struggled — Hülkenberg

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In the 2023 season, some teams were able to move up the Constructors’ Championship standings, but this was not the case for Haas, who scored just a third of the points compared to the previous season.

The American team finished last with just 12 points, 11 of which were scored in the first five races of the season, and, in Nico Hulkenberg’s opinion, this is not to say that the Kannapolis-based team was better in period, but rather that its rivals had more problems at the start of the year and gradually solved them while Guenther Steiner’s team fell to the bottom of the table:

“Obviously, it was a process, and the signs were there at the beginning of the season.

“But we got away with it at the beginning of the season because other people were struggling more as well.

“And then once they cleaned up and brought some real developments, that’s when we really started to pay the penalty.”

Photo credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

The German driver commented that although there were races where others did not finish, the opportunity for him or his teammate to score points was not possible, as the pace of his car was always very poor, with the exception of Singapore where the team made a strategic error on his side of the garage.

“The last or second half of the season has been very tough. I think I only had one chance to score one or two points in Singapore, which we missed because of a strategy mistake.

“Apart from that, we never had the pace we needed. Even when a lot of cars were dropping out, we were too far away. So, of course, that’s not good. That’s why we have to do better.”

In an attempt to have a better car, Haas used two different versions for the Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, with one of the cars featuring upgrades, but this made little difference, with the Emmerich am Rhein native sharing that neither he nor Magnussen felt good in either and adding that the upgrades were simply not good enough as they failed to improve the car:

“I don’t think there is a big difference between them. Minor differences. Last weekend [in Las Vegas], I felt the new package had an advantage over the old package in a low downforce configuration.”

“This weekend, obviously I didn’t do Friday, but from Saturday onwards, I felt pretty good. Kevin didn’t feel as happy. I mean, they’re both similar.

“But that in itself, obviously, is not good enough. An update is supposed to be better and fix some of your problems. And unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. So we have to try to do better next year.”

The 36-year-old said that everyone in the team is hoping for better results and for that, they must work harder and do better: “We just have to put our feet up, and do a better job, we have to work hard, because we want to do better.

“Ultimately, I want us to do better, and I think everybody in the team wants to do better. So we have to try to find better solutions.”