Haas to implement big change of concept in Austin

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Haas says it will introduce at next month's US Grand Prix an upgrade on its VF-23 that will be the precursor to an entire change of concept for its car in 2024.

This season, the second year of F1's ground-effects regulation, Haas' VF-23 has displayed on occasion a strong pace in qualifying.

However, it's been a very different story for the American outfit on Sundays, with tyre degradation issues systematically undermining both Hulkenberg and teammate Kevin Magnussen's efforts.

The team has tried its best to mitigate its degradation troubles through tireless trial and error set-up work, but without making significant inroads into the problem.

Having reached a dead-end with its current car, Haas has opted to steer its car into the direction followed by all other teams this year, meaning it will adopt the Red Bull-inspired downwash philosophy as it overhauls the profile of its sidepods, a change that will occur in Austin.

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"That was our biggest problem with the concept we have now, we couldn't find any performance any more," explained Haas team boss Guenther Steiner.

"We developed the whole year and there was nothing there. At some stage, you need to do something different, and we could not keep on banging our heads against the wall trying, while the other ones kept on finding gains.

"McLaren changed the system like this, and they found something at some stage. So, at some point, you need to change concept, and you need to face reality."

Amid its struggles, a silver lining of sorts for Haas is that the team wisely did not throw one good dollar after a bad one in the development of its car, which has left it with money to spend on its upcoming upgrade and on the design and revamp of its 2024 contender.

"The plan was to have more upgrades with the concept we have got now. But because we didn't find performance, we didn't introduce upgrades this year," Steiner explained.

"There's no point to make car parts if the car doesn't go faster, so because we haven't spent that money, we can now spend it on this big upgrade."

Haas is limited in the extent of the downwash solution it can implement on its VF-22 due to the latter's architecture.

But the changes will equate to a head start for the team on 2024 when it follows the full "downwash" route as Steiner explained.

"We weren't sure if we should do it this year or not, but then next year we were going to go full that route," he said.

"We had to say, let's do something this year, so at least we learn as much as possible for next year on that concept. And maybe we learn something that you can then integrate into next year's car as well out of the racetrack."

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