Haas’ Formula 1 campaign has largely been one of woe - however the team is aiming to put much of its pain behind it starting at its home race in the United States this weekend.
The VF-23 challenger, which has given Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg trouble all season long, will finally receive a long-awaited upgrade.
The car has shown the odd flash of pace, peaking when Magnussen managed to qualify in fourth place at the Miami Grand Prix earlier this year.
However, it has been unable to sustain pace over a long race distance and has been prone to eat through its tyres, often resulting in the drivers plummeting down the order following a strong single-lap performance in qualifying.
The upgrade that will hit the track at the Circuit of the Americas aims to bring the car in a new direction, with Haas realising that there is no future with the concept it has used up to now.
"The upgrade on the VF-23 is aerodynamic,” Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner told media including RacingNews365.
"We changed the concept of the car because what we started with, because of the new regulations last year, we couldn’t make any more gains performance-wise.
“Creating more downforce and less drag, it just wasn’t there anymore, so we needed to change the concept, to what is commonly known as the ‘Red Bull concept’ or the ‘downwash concept’.
"It is a substantial update, and we’re able to do this within the cost cap because we didn’t have any updates at the beginning of the season because again, going back, we couldn’t find any performance that we could make parts to put on the car."
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Haas upgrades set for the US
Haas would certainly welcome a boost in performance, especially following the Qatar Grand Prix where rivals Alfa Romeo scored six points, with both Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu finishing inside the top 10.
The result lifted Alfa Romeo above Haas in the Constructors’ Championship, demoting Haas to ninth place above only AlphaTauri.
It’s well-documented that the results of the Constructors’ Championship have massive implications on the teams, with tens of millions, decided by a couple of points, at stake for the likes of Haas and Alfa Romeo.
While the upgrades will be crucial to the end of Haas’ current campaign, the new parts are working to provide a goal far beyond its result in this year’s standings.
The new concept aims to provide learnings for next season's challenger and install the possibility of carrying over a strong finish to the car that Haas will field for its ninth campaign in F1.
Magnussen and Hulkenberg have been forced to wait patiently for the Austin upgrades, with Magnussen admitting last month that the team was simply “surviving” until the US Grand Prix.
Haas's new beginning can start this weekend in Texas as it waits to see several of several months of planning and preparation hit the track.
Following a handful of disappointing years, there is now a robust reason to feel excited for Haas as it fields its latest machine - one that could define its place in the order for years to come.