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We’ve made it, kids! It’s car launch season for Formula 1! First on the list — *checks list* — is Haas.
So let’s see what Formula 1’s only American team has in store for us. Let’s see if their 2023 car has any tech innovations that will change the game this season…
What’s that?… It’s just a livery?… On a virtual car from last year?… Oh…
Well, let’s see what Haas’ VF-23 will look like… on a virtual version of the VF-22.
Haas’ liveries have been all over the place in recent years, but this one keeps the red, white, and black color scheme the team went back to after using red, white, and blue for a season in 2021.
I think it’s a sleek-looking livery that should stand out from the rest of the field. I really like the black and red on top of the sidepods, and the striping pattern and even the sponsor logo on the engine cover look really good.
As I said though, this is all we can gather from what the team unveiled on Tuesday. The real deal Haas VF-23 will hit the track for a shakedown at Silverstone on February 11.
This kind of unveiling isn’t unusual for Haas. They did the same thing last year, showing off the “Russian flag” livery that they ditched midway through testing last season.
We’re getting our first glimpse at the team with their new title sponsor, MoneyGram. Hopefully, this relationship works out better than their two previous title sponsors UralKali and Rich Energy.
Those both ended in spectacular failures, each in its own way.
Haas Needs To Build On Last Season’s Successes
So, we don’t have any insight into VF-23’s design, but the primary goal should be pretty simple: build on the successes of 2022.
After a 2021 season in which they brought home a grand total of 0 points. Haas’ P8 this season was an impressive step, but there’s still room to improve. They need to be more consistent in qualifying. Last year, Haas would sometimes have a car capable of qualifying on the third row of the grid, but the next week both cars would be out in Q1.
Kevin Magnussen got the most out of the VF-22. That said, he made it to Q3 nine times and headed back to the motorhome early after a Q3 exit 10 times.
Yeah; it was feast or famine kind o fseason for Haas last year.
Still, qualifying won’t be enough if their race pace doesn’t improve this season. Haas has a close relationship with Ferrari, so it’s no surprise that both cars shared a tendency to throw down quick qualifying laps, but didn’t necessarily have the pace to hang on to or gain track position on Sunday.
It’ll help that Haas is going to be fielding one of the most experienced duos on the grid in Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, but they’ll still need a consistent ride each and every week.
If they can get their car dialed in at more circuits and find a bit more pace during a grand prix, I could see them contending for P7, maybe even P6 in the consturcors’ standings this season.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle