Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe

Magnussen still "curious" over real tyre gains from Haas F1 upgrade

Kevin Magnussen has admitted he is still "curious" to find out how much Haas' latest Formula 1 upgrade has helped improve the squad's tyre degradation woes.

Haas VF-23 bodywork detail, United States GP

Haas VF-23 bodywork detail, United States GP

Giorgio Piola

Haas introduced a revamp of its VF-23 at the United States Grand Prix that resulted in it becoming the final F1 squad to adopt the downwash sidepod concept that Red Bull has put to best use over the past two years.

The changes were aimed at bringing more downforce for Magnussen and team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, as well as improving on tyre life that both drivers had suffered from this year.

While a run of sprint weekends and the outlier track of Mexico has left the team unsure about how much improvement the changes have brought, Magnussen thinks there are some early positive signs.

"What I'm curious about, and we need more data, is whether this style of aero is better for our tyre issue," said Magnussen. "I do think it is, but you need to put in a lot of factors.

"Overall, we're probably a little worse with this upgrade on one lap. But then one lap pace and race pace are different things.

"On race pace, at the end of the stints, tyre performance is a little bit better because I think we've seen some small signs.

"It hasn't solved the issue, but it's just maybe made it a little bit better. And that's one of the things that I find interesting for next year, because next year, hopefully it will be a very big step."

Although the upgrade has not delivered a dramatic step forward in pace, Magnussen is encouraged that, considering it is a major baseline shift of concept, the team has not been left further back.

Ayao Komatsu, Chief Engineer, Haas F1 Team, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the Sprint grid

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Ayao Komatsu, Chief Engineer, Haas F1 Team, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the Sprint grid

"This upgrade here is like the first drawing of this concept of car," he said. "With no development, [it was] just draw a new car, and put it on track.

"Usually, you spend a lot of time developing but this was like almost the first prototype that they just produced and put on the car with no development.

"So, it's interesting that we spent so much time on last year's car and we just throw that in the bin, draw a new car and then it's the same, it's not any worse. That's also encouraging."

Aero balance

Haas is continuing to better understand the performance characteristics of its upgrade that arrived in Austin, and brought a revised front wing upper flap to Brazil to help aero balance.

Improving the overall output of the car means that the team has to reconsider its set-up options at each grand prix, including its aerodynamic balance, and the upgrade provides more versatility in terms of dialling in front-to-rear balance for the remaining races on the calendar.

The update package introduced by Haas in Austin marked a milestone in the design phase of this new generation of car, as it became the last team on the grid to abandon its original sidepod design and converge on a variation of the downwash ramp-style solution.

As part of this redesign, Haas also opted to increase the longitudinal disparity between the upper and lower lips of the sidepod's inlet, with the lower lip sitting much further forward than the upper lip.

This helps to construct a more effective passage for both the airflow into the inlet and the sidepod's undercut, which has also benefited from the alterations, as the bodywork has been shrink-wrapped more tightly.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23

Owing to this, the blister formed around the lower SIS on the lower face of the undercut is now more prominent, highlighting that it is located in this higher position on the VF-23, whereas many of its rivals slung it down lower and have disguised it within the floor.

The downwash ramp bodywork is also complemented by a waterslide or gully system, albeit a gentler approach rather than the deeper option that the likes of Aston Martin, Alpine and McLaren now have.

Meanwhile, cooling has also been revised with much more emphasis placed on the shoulder of the engine cover, as the cooling gills have been moved to this region, rather than being located in the bathtub-like crevice atop the sidepod bodywork it had previously.

Be part of Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Red Bull does not agree with Hamilton’s F1 assessment
Next article FIA rejects Haas' request for review of US GP track limits breaches

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe