Formula 1

Haas F1 Team Surges: Hulkenberg Scores Big With VF-24 Upgrades, Eyes Top Five Spot

The Haas F1 Team, representing the United States in the high-octane world of Formula 1, is showing signs of significant progression, manifested vividly at the recent British Grand Prix where driver Nico Hulkenberg clinched a commendable sixth position. This marks the second consecutive weekend where Hulkenberg has finished in the sixth spot, an achievement that underscores the team’s upward trajectory in the 2023 season.

The VF-24, Haas’s latest car, received a substantial upgrade package ahead of the Silverstone race, which, according to Hulkenberg, has notably increased the car’s competitiveness. The German driver detailed the impact of these upgrades, stating, “It is obviously a nice, rewarding feeling to get eight points again, P6 two times in a row. It’s unexpected, but I think deserved. We worked for it. We stayed clean, no mistakes, good strategy. Very good.”

Moreover, these upgrades seem to be bridging the gap with some of the mid-field teams: “I think that the best of all, though, is the performance that we’ve had. The update really did something to the car, and I genuinely think we’re in the fight for fifth-fastest team now with sometimes Aston, sometimes Alpine, and sometimes some others maybe,” reflected Hulkenberg.

With these consistent performances, Hulkenberg is optimistic about the team’s prospects, echoing a sentiment of resilience and strategic acumen, “I think we’re there. We have been pretty consistent this season and I think we can hang on to that.”

Hulkenberg’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, also commented on the upgrades, emphasizing their immediate efficacy: “I think it’s good. I mean, to put an upgrade on the car and see it score points in the first race, of course, it’s encouraging. We know on paper it’s not night and day, but it’s in the details, right? So it’s also a testimony to the car overall that we have. We’ve put a little bit more performance on here, but without it, Nico would still have scored points. So very encouraging and looking forward to more races.”

The strategic direction under new team principal Ayao Komatsu, who succeeded Guenther Steiner earlier in the year, has also been cited by Hulkenberg as a pivotal element in what he described as a “hell of a comeback” for the team. Nico noted, “I mean, nobody expected it – even when we started it was better than the expectation. But we kept up with everyone, and did the same job, maybe even better. I think it’s also a little bit weekend-dependent and track-dependent, so we’ll have to wait and see but no, it’s definitely a hell of a comeback and a story.”

Currently, Haas stands seventh in the Constructors’ Championship with 27 points, closely trailing VCARB, which has 31 points, and not far behind Aston Martin at 68 points. As the season progresses, the team’s ability to adjust and optimize based on specific track characteristics will be crucial to securing more points and possibly climbing higher in the standings.

With the palpable momentum from the recent upgrades and strategic refinements, Haas F1 Team appears poised for more commendable performances, possibly altering the dynamics of the mid-field battle as the Formula 1 season progresses. As the upgrades continue to be tested and refined, the F1 community will be watching closely to see if this American team can maintain its competitive edge in the fiercely contested races to come.


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