Haas chasing race pace improvements
By Mat Coch
Tuesday 30th May, 2023 - 7:31pm
Improving race pace is the current focus for Haas after it introduced upgrades at the last two grands prix.
Team boss Guenther Steiner has suggested his team is capable of scoring points at every race though its strike rate at the moment is only 50 percent.
It was inside the top 10 in Saudi Arabia, Melbourne, and Miami, and has eight points to its name to sit seventh in the constructors’ championship.
That leaves the American squad just two points clear of Alfa Romeo Sauber, and nine back from McLaren.
“The midfield is really tight,” said Ayao Komatsu, Haas’ director of engineering.
“In qualifying, at most races, we almost have it. If we put everything together and we send the car with the correct set-up, at the correct time, it’s operationally good and then the driver performs, we can be up there fighting with Alpine.
“With race pace, we’re not quite there yet but that’s the bit we’re really focusing on.
“If you look at Miami, we finished P10 with Kevin which was a bit disappointing, but nobody retired.
“Apart from the big teams – Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin – we were only beaten by Pierre Gasly, and with a little bit of improvement I feel we could’ve been there with him until the end.”
Haas introduced a new floor at the Miami Grand Prix, one of the few teams to take new bits to the United States.
There was a new front wing in Monaco too, part of the team’s strategy to continually drip developments out through the year.
“It’s really positive for the team because the first major upgrade we brought to track in Miami, it just worked,” said Komatsu.
“It’s not as simple as saying coming from the wind tunnel, this is a big gain and this should work, which happens quite often and you don’t actually see it, but this one was the opposite – it didn’t make a huge difference in the wind tunnel in terms of headline numbers, but we believed it was worthwhile introducing it due to certain details we saw.
“At the track, we saw exactly the behaviour change we expected, and in fact, it was actually better than anticipated.
“Then, following that philosophy, we brought a front wing to Monaco which was meant for Imola, but in Monaco you can’t measure anything so we will measure it this week.”
F1 heads immediately from Monaco to Spain for what was set to be the final leg of a triple-header.
Opening practice in Barcelona begins at 13:30 local time (21:30 AEST) on Friday.