Steiner promises ‘multiple’ Haas upgrades this season
By Ian Parkes
Wednesday 15th March, 2023 - 3:30am
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has promised this season’s F1 challenger will receive numerous upgrades throughout the season – in stark contrast to last year.
Following the introduction of new aerodynamic regulations last season and despite a strong start to the year in which Kevin Magnussen scored points in three of the first four races, Haas opted to barely develop the VF-22.
The car received only one major upgrade during the campaign when it primarily unveiled a revised floor and sidepod ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The decision was taken to keep development to a minimum given the cost implications of the new rules in operating in only the second year of the budget cap, and after losing its major sponsor early in the year following Russia declaring war on Ukraine.
The team’s financial concerns have since been considerably eased following the recruitment of a new title sponsor in MoneyGram alongside a number of other fresh commercial partners.
That means the team now has the resources to steadily develop this year’s VF-23, albeit with the first upgrade not due until a third of the way through the season.
“Something is planned for Barcelona,” confirmed Steiner, referring to the Spanish Grand Prix on June 2-4.
“We are working on that but we need to see if we make the right progress, performance-wise, in the wind tunnel before we put it into production.
“But it’s on the way, and if it goes to plan and we hit the targets then the first upgrades will be coming.”
Wind tunnel performance key to development
Steiner has dismissed the possibility, however, that the team’s focus will be on one sole significant upgrade this year.
There is a structured development plan in place, but again, much will depend on the data it receives before opting to pursue ideas.
“They (upgrades) are coming all over the season,” he added. “We’ve a good plan in place.
“I’m not going to say exactly when they’re coming because if you do developments and they don’t give you what you target, then you are not going to produce upgrades. They’re just a waste of money, so we wait until we get results.
“But there are multiple upgrades coming. We’ve got dates in place.
“But if we don’t hit the performance targets in the wind tunnel then we won’t go down that path at that time.
“Why would you go down that path if it doesn’t give you a performance upgrade, and then you just drain money out of your budget cap money?”
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