Steiner: Haas development plan key to 2024

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Haas has had an interesting run of form recently. Not having scored points since Miami, they are trying to hold on to their 8th place in the Contructors’ Championship as they are currently tied with Williams for 7th place. While the development race has gotten underway, Haas, under their restricted budget, have had a difficult scenario: do they focus more on developping this year’s car? Or move towards next year’s car?

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

This is the dilemma facing Team Principal Gunther Steiner. When reflecting on his team’s results, he seemed positive that his new updates are working for the team, even though it isn’t showing in the points tally.

“In Hungary, the result looked worse than it was because we weren’t far from our competitors, but we were still behind. It’s not fantastic but it’s the right direction.

“To say whether it was the updates that gave performance or whether it was track specific, it’s very difficult to judge because of how mixed up the teams are getting and how close it is — it’s hard to come to a definitive conclusion on whether an update works. Our upgrade was small as we all know but what it promised to do, it did; it just wasn’t enough.

In the end, the ultimatum has been put off temporarily. Steiner says that the development for this year and next year is simultaneous, since taking what he learned from this year carries into next year. He will then wait a bit to see when to shut down this year’s development and switch to 2024.

“Upgrades for this season will also be implemented on next year’s car and that’s why we’ve decided to continue with this year’s car development to really understand our problems and where we need to put effort into making the car better for next year. Right now, we’re developing both cars in parallel, and we don’t really know yet when we switch over only to 2024.”

Kevin Magnussen also remained confident in his team. When assessing the impact of the upgrades on his car, he says that it has made an impact on his performance, however there are still kinks that they need to work out before the car can reach its full potential with the small upgrade package that’s been given to him.

Photo credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

“I think we’re getting an understanding. One thing is understanding your problem and the next is to find the solution to that problem. I think in general we need some more performance — there are some specific areas that we definitely are struggling in. Hot tyres is one of them, but there’s several things that can influence that.”

Even though the Haas upgrades will be less effective than the bigger teams’ upgrades, Magnussen looked forward and acknowledged that the learning process continues every weekend and knows that his team will get to where it needs to be.

“So I think as a team we need to make a big step forward. I know that there’s some stuff in the pipeline that we can get excited about later on in the year, hopefully, but for now it’s just about being patient and doing every race weekend like you think you have a chance and try to grab any opportunity that you might get.”