The Haas F1 Team has officially taken the wraps off its contender for the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship, the VF-24, set to be driven by the experienced duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.
In a bold move ahead of the upcoming season, the team revealed digital renders of the VF-24, showcasing an evolved livery design that builds upon the previous year’s aesthetics.
The car is scheduled for its track debut at the iconic Silverstone Circuit on February 11, with Hulkenberg behind the wheel for its initial shakedown before the squad moves on to Bahrain for pre-season testing later in the month.
The unveiling marks a significant moment for the American outfit as it continues to strengthen its partnership with title sponsor MoneyGram, a leader in global financial technology. The VF-24 proudly displays the MoneyGram branding along with other key partners, including Haas Automation, on its livery.
This year also sees Play’n GO, a premier supplier in the casino industry, ramping up its engagement with the team, promising increased visibility across the car, team, and driver assets.
Gene Haas, Chairman of the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, expressed his anticipation for the upcoming season, emphasizing the invaluable experience Hulkenberg and Magnussen bring to the team’s development.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the VF-24 running and racing – a sentiment I know I share with our partners and indeed the entire team,” Gene Haas said in a statement. “In Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, we also know we’ve got a great pair of drivers behind the wheel.
“Their experience will prove invaluable again as we develop our program through the year. We’ve used the off-season to put the processes in place to be better and ultimately improve our overall performance. Soon we get to see how we’re doing.”
Meanwhile, Ayao Komatsu, recently appointed Team Principal after Guenther Steiner was let go, shared insights into the VF-24’s development and the strategic adjustments within the team aimed at fostering a cohesive and effective approach to car improvement.
Komatsu candidly addressed the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, acknowledging the VF-24’s initial position but pointing to the positive gains in the wind tunnel and the strategic role drivers will play in the car’s development.
The team is fully focused on maximizing the pre-season testing in Bahrain to set a strong foundation for the 2024 campaign.
“We’re realistic about our expectations for the VF-24 to start but it’s still an exciting moment in any Formula 1 season to showcase the car,” Ayao Komatsu commented.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us to make progress and increase our performance but everyone here is highly motivated and eager to get on track with the VF-24.
“I know we’ll be maximizing our time in Bahrain with all the various items we need to push through. Bottom line, we can’t wait to get going and get the season underway.”
The transition in team leadership and technical direction, with Andrea De Zordo stepping up as Technical Director, marks a new chapter for Haas F1. This reshuffling aims to streamline processes and enhance the car’s performance through coherent planning and development strategies.
Lessons learned from 2023
Reflecting on the VF-23’s performance, Komatsu detailed the lessons learned and the data-driven approach that has informed the development of the VF-24.
Despite acknowledging the stiff competition and the relentless pursuit of performance in Formula 1, there’s a renewed sense of optimism within the team about the potential for early season upgrades and a more competitive showing throughout the year.
“I still think we’re going to be towards the back of the grid, if not last,” Komatsu added. “Since I’ve become Team Principal, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to managers – both in the UK and Italy – and they’re excited because it’s an opportunity to improve and there are areas of improvement everywhere.
The reason our launch-spec car is not going to be quick enough in Bahrain is not because of the quality of the people we have here, but it’s because we started late and then we stopped for two months to do the Austin upgrade.
“It really diverted resource, so we lost time there, but the team is finding good gains in the wind tunnel so that’s positive and in terms of characteristics, it’s going in the right direction.”
As the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team gears up for the 2024 season, the unveiling of the VF-24 represents not just a new car but a renewed commitment to progress, performance, and partnership.
With a blend of experienced leadership, technical innovation, and driver expertise, the team is poised to embark on what promises to be an exciting and challenging campaign.