Haas not changing car concept earlier in 2023 F1 season was a call that “came from Guenther Steiner” — David Croft

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Photo Credits MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team had a miserable 2023 F1 season. They finished bottom of the pile in P10 with just 12 points as the VF-23 gained a reputation for cooking its rear tyres. So,now that the sun has set on the 2023 season – where did it all go wrong for the American owned team?

Despite the struggles, the experienced driver pairing of Nico Hulkenberg (who scored 9 points) and Kevin Magnussen (who scored 3 points) never let their head drop and gamely kept morale high within the team even when it was clear that points would never be a realistic prospect on a race weekend.

Throughout the season, Haas F1 Team Principal Guenther Steiner was not one to shy away from the media and make excuses. Instead, his open and honest analysis was refreshing to hear and is yet another reason why he is the right man steering the Steiner ship. No doubt his soundbites also brought joy to the Netflix Drive to Survive producers.

In Abu Dhabi, as the season drew to a close, Steiner had told media that the issues arose from the fact that the team started with the wrong concept. The problems were only attempted to be addressed in a major way with the upgrades at Austin – but even that didn’t work. However, had the team chosen to rethink far sooner in the season, they would certainly have had more time to experiment. Unfortunately, Austin was far too late.

Guenther Steiner told Haas F1 Team through social media after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: “It’s been a tough season for us. It started well, but didn’t get better as everyone else got better. We ended up fighting all season so now we need to work hard over the winter to get a better car out there.“

A better car may be easier to come by in 2024 as Haas F1 Team will be in its second year of having MoneyGram as its title sponsor. Therefore, in theory (for the team that never troubles breaching the cost cap) this should mean more money and equate to sooner upgrades in 2024. Also, it takes some of the burden away front Gene Haas always having to throw money into the team and so that in turn would surely keep Gene Haas interested in continuing in the pinnacle of motorsport for a few more years to come

In 2023, Haas F1 Team was their own worst enemy. The team knew where the difficulties lay and what needed to be addressed but delayed doing so until it was too late. Even then – the issues were still not fixed. With that in mind, one can assume a different mindset in 2024 from Guenther Steiner and co. Maybe one which is proactive as opposed to reactive. If that happens then perhaps the much loved underdog will find itself higher up the table by the time we get to Abu Dhabi in 2024.