Haas eyes Imola for true VF-24 upgrade evaluation


Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu welcomes F1’s return to a traditional race weekend schedule at this week’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix for a critical reason: it will finally allow the US outfit to properly assess the upgrades recently implemented on its VF-24.

The American team introduced performance changes to their car in Shanghai and in Miami. However, both races were run to F1’s Sprint format which removed the opportunity for a direct comparison between the pre-upgrade and new-spec car.

Nico Hulkenberg managed to salvage a point in China and two more points in the Miami sprint, but the German driver’s results still didn’t provide Haas with a clear picture of its upgrades' true impact.

"When we come to Imola, non-sprint weekend, we'll do a proper back-to-back test," Komatsu explained, quoted by RacingNews365.

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"We've been developing the car aggressively - I think that's the key, if we were to be able to fight at that point, just on the fringe of points, or even better - we've got to be able to put performance on the car, which is something we haven't proven yet.

“So, that's what we are focused on."


While acknowledging the need for a clear verdict, Komatsu will view any eventual negative findings as an opportunity to course-correct before the season reaches its mid-point, when budget constraints kick in and limit development.

"I'm keen to really assess it properly in Imola, to see if what we've been working is really going in the right direction. Are we getting what we're supposed to, or not?" he added.

"If it's a negative case, still, bad news is better to know sooner rather than later, right. That's why we've been developing aggressively, and hopefully, we can prove that what we've been doing is right.

"But worst case, if we prove that what we've been doing is not right, we've still got the chance to rectify for the mid-season."

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