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Guenther Steiner

Steiner commits Haas to 'biggest change' with Red Bull-style upgrade

The team admits it has hit a development wall with the 2023 challenger and has become one of the last to switch to the popular 'downwash' concept.

Magnussen Spain
To news overview © XPBimages

Haas will bring its 'biggest change' to its 2023 Formula 1 car towards the end of the season as it switches to a Red Bull-inspired car concept.

The team kept its original bathtub and tall sidepod concept into the 2023 season, which feeds air towards the rear of the car, but the trend has been to move towards a downwash effect pioneered by Red Bull and the RB19.

Haas's technical partners Ferrari made the change to this design at the Spanish Grand Prix, citing a lack of development opportunities, with Haas also running into a 'development wall.'

"That was our biggest problem with the concept we have now, we couldn't find any performance any more," Team Principal Guenther Steiner told media, including RacingNews365.

"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 teams kept on finding gains.

"McLaren changed the system like this, and they found something.

"At some stage, you need to change concept and face reality."

Haas is expected to bring a b-spec version of the VF-23 to the United States Grand Prix, which will be a precursor to their 2024 challenger.

When asked if the car will be completely different for 2024, Steiner said: "The concept of the car will change going that direction [downwash].

"You're limited with your chassis and a few other things, but we are trying to go to the downwash shape now as everybody else has done."

Steiner: Plan was to have more updates

Both Haas drivers have been able to exhibit impressive performance over one-lap in the VF-23, with Kevin Magnussen qualifying as high as fourth at the Miami Grand Prix.

This performance would drop off in the races, with the team often having to employ alternate tyre strategies due to poor tyre degradation.

It prompted calls to bring updates to fix the inherent race disadvantage, but Steiner said the team eventually pulled the plug on its current concept when it realised the problems.

"The plan was to have more updates with the concept we have now, but because we didn't find performance, we did not introduce updates this year," said Steiner.

"There's no point in making car parts if the car does not go faster. So because we haven't spent that money, we can now spend it on this big update."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Magnussen: We're bad at the low downforce tracks

The Italian Grand Prix was the worst result for the team as they were forced into a two-stop and finished last on the road with both drivers.

Magnussen believes the low downforce tracks are the worst for them at the moment, and does not expect their fortunes to change at Singapore.

"I think low downforce for us is not great. I don't think it's going to change the world that it’s a high-downforce track," explained Magnussen.

"We're behind. We know that. So, every race we're trying to maximise our chances of some kind of opportunity with a safety car or any sort of odd opportunity that we can try and grab. We know on pace we're not there to score points."

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