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Haas reveals double shakedown plans for 2024 F1 car

Haas has revealed its new Formula 1 car will run for the first time at Silverstone on 11 February as part of a double shakedown plan before pre-season testing begins.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Erik Junius

The American-owned outfit is coming off the back of the recent bombshell news that long-serving team principal Guenther Steiner will not be staying on board after his contract was not extended.

Former director of engineering Ayao Komatsu has been promoted to the team boss job and is currently conducting a review of operations to work out how best to move things forward.

While Komatsu needs to address the bigger picture stuff, the team continues to push on with its 2024 car preparations – and has outlined plans to get valuable mileage under its belt before the official F1 pre-season test starts in Bahrain on 21 February.

Speaking to selected media including Autosport about the 2024 car plans, Komatsu said: “On 11 February we have a Silverstone shakedown and then two days before the official test starts, we have another shakedown in Bahrain. Then we go into the official testing.”

While the car will not be seen in public before the Silverstone shakedown, the team has previously released images of its contenders early - so it is possible fans may get a sneak glimpse again of any design changes.

Haas endured a difficult 2023 campaign where it finished bottom of the constructors’ championship standings despite its car showing impressive pace at times.

The squad battled for much of the season to try to get to the bottom of why the VF-23 was often so fast over a single lap but then struggled badly over race distances.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

A change of concept from the United States Grand Prix also brought more confusion, as the team ended the year unsure if it had improved things as drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen were not in agreement over it and ran different specifications.

Speaking about the progress the team has made over the winter, Komatsu expressed some confidence about matters – but was eager to point out that he did not anticipate a dramatic leap up the order from the first race.

“The ’24 car is a clear step,” he said. “But whether it is good enough against the competition to start off with? I don’t believe so, because we started so late.

“We changed the concept so late as well and then by actually doing the Austin update, we diverted our resources a little bit. So, I’m realistic about the car we put out in Bahrain, but not in a negative manner.”

Komatsu believed that the team should be judged not on how things look in Bahrain, but how much progress it can make from that first race.

“It’s not the fault of our engineers, our guys, they are good people,” he said. “For me, the key would be that whatever the car we put out in Bahrain, whatever the problems are that we see, we try to understand it and then move from that point as a team, rather than having possible issues with a lack of cohesion between certain departments.

“We are a small team so we cannot have these internal issues if you like. We’ve got to move as one, otherwise we don’t stand a chance.”

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