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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Haas F1 points “we will race” verdict after sturdy Bahrain GP

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The Haas drivers dropping again and making early tyre stops was an everyday function of Sundays final yr and sometimes led to good grid positions going to waste.

The workforce centered its design efforts with the VF-24 on addressing the issue and spent many of the Bahrain take a look at concentrating on lengthy runs.

Regardless of an absence of low-fuel expertise, Nico Hulkenberg gave the workforce a lift by making Q3 and qualifying tenth for the Bahrain GP.

The German’s Saturday night was ruined by a primary nook incident and a cease for a brand new nostril.

Nonetheless, a strong drive from team-mate Kevin Magnussen to twelfth, after beginning fifteenth on the grid, indicated that Haas has vastly improved its race kind relative to final yr.

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Komatsu made it clear that the workforce has made progress regardless of final yr’s VF-23 improvement programme compromising work on its successor.

“If someone instructed me earlier than we ran the automobile this yr that we’re preventing for factors in race one, I would not count on that,” he stated when requested by Autosport if he noticed Magnussen’s consequence as final result.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-24

Picture by: Erik Junius

“I understand how a lot acquire we constructed from once we began designing this VF-24, however I do know we began late. I do know we stopped for 2 months doing the Austin improve. In order that’s simply misplaced time, and we’re behind, proper?

“However I’ve acquired to imagine, given the identical period of time, all people else’s improvement price is at the least nearly as good as us. As a result of we’re the smallest workforce. So that is what I assumed.

“After which I noticed one thing a bit completely different in testing, however I simply did not need to rely on it. After which in fact, we noticed extra on FP2. However once more, every thing was for right now [the race].

“So even yesterday our goal was to get each automobiles in Q2, which we did. And Nico did what Nico is de facto good at in Q2. Superb lap, in Q3 once more, however we did not run new tyre as a result of we would have liked new tyres for right now.

“Sadly, his begin wasn’t nice, and his race was over by Flip 1. However as you possibly can see from Kevin’s race, we will race this yr now within the midfield. It is simply there is not any margin. So every thing needs to be excellent – which we did not fully do right now – so we will rating factors. However yeah, very Positive.”

Whereas acknowledging that so far the workforce has solely sampled one venue, Komatsu stated that the indicators are encouraging given the character of the Sakhir monitor.

“If something, for me, this circuit exposes that weak spot, so I used to be fairly blissful,” he stated. “Okay, monitor temperature will not be as scorching as a standard Bahrain race right here. However nonetheless, noon throughout the testing, after which FP1, FP3, you possibly can see the weak spot. So, it is all related, I believe.

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team

Ayao Komatsu, Crew Principal, Haas F1 Crew

Picture by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

“After all, you get a distinct circuit, extra medium, high-speed corners circuits like Suzuka, that can be completely different. I am certain we will wrestle extra.

“After which subsequent week, Jeddah as properly, some higher-speed corners, and in addition decrease downforce. That can be one other problem. But when I examine to the place we’re relative to the competitors 12 months in the past right here, we’re way more within the ballpark. We will race. In order that’s very Positive.”

Requested if he had anticipated that Haas can be competing with Sauber, RB, Williams and Alpine on the first race, Komatsu admitted that it was a shock.

“As an instance earlier than we ran within the Bahrain take a look at, I wasn’t anticipating that,” he famous. “Truthfully, like I stated, none of those guys are silly, proper? They usually’re all larger than us. Then we began late. I do know that we stopped for 2 months. So how can I count on us to beat anybody?

“However fortunately, we appear to have accomplished a greater job than another groups. However I can’t assume that. That to me it is nearly disrespectful to different folks.”

Komatsu stated that the workforce’s preliminary improvement programme relied upon the launch package deal efficiently addressing the tyre points, whereas acknowledging that some modifications can be made because of classes discovered.

“I anticipated our automobile to be in direction of the again right here in Bahrain, so meaning you actually need to develop aggressively,” he stated.

“So you can’t wait till you run the automobile. So all of the issues within the pipeline are those assuming that our winter improvement is within the appropriate route, so we simply need to hold happening that and put efficiency on the automobile.

“Now we ran the automobile, we perceive a bit extra, so we are going to change sure instructions. However that is not going to be, as an instance, in a really early a part of the season.”



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