The 2023 season is officially underway. The first livery to be revealed is the Haas. The American team that collaborates with Dallara (chassis) and Maranello (Power Unit, but not only) showed their livery for the upcoming season.
This livery was influenced by the team’s new title sponsor, MoneyGram, meaning the American team will compete as MoneyGram Haas F1 Team .
Haas did not show the VF-23’s actual design on today’s launch but instead showcased their new livery for the 2023 season.
Gunther Steiner’s expectations for 2023: “The VF-23 will be a step forward”
What does the Italian-American team expect from next season? With stationary cars, it is always difficult to make any kind of prediction, but some goals are necessary.
Haas finished the season eight last year, an improvement from the previous year in which they finished bottom. It is precisely this trend that Haas Team Principal, Gunther Steiner, hopes to maintain, further progressing in all areas possible to achieve a better placement at the end of the championship:
” Our hope is to improve and fight for points every weekend. There was a good step forward in terms of performance between 2021 and 2022, and we want to continue like this, as was the case until the outbreak of the pandemic when we slipped back .”
Last season Kevin Magnussen brought Haas their first Pole Position by taking the opportunity of a complicated Qualifying in Brazil.
It is these situations that Haas must exploit if they are to achieve a podium, an aim that Steiner believes is possible:
“We have to seize the opportunities (…) In Brazil, we were in the right place at the right time, and so we can also reach the podium.”
The Haas TP remains realistic about the possibilities of his team, although they still lack the resources to compete with some of the other teams on the grid:
“At the moment, with our means, we cannot compete with the Top-3. They are simply too strong. However, we can seize these opportunities to be able to achieve important results”
Experience will be helpful on the team’s road to progress, regarding both the drivers and engineers – who have an extra year working together. The technical offices between Dallara and Maranello have developed more chemistry and trust that Guenther Steiner can lead the team forward:
“The group that designed the VF-22 is made up of very good people, but who weren’t close-knit yet. In this period (2021-2022), they learned to work as a team”. A hint as to what they will be working primarily on a technical level? Weight. Gunther Steiner pointed out how the VF-22 was never close to the weight limit, and so the team hopes to reach this target with the new car.
Hulkenberg and Magnussen: Haas focuses on experience for the growth leap.
Some were surprised by the team’s decision to sign Nico Hulkenberg instead of Mick Schumacher for 2023. Schumacher did not receive an extension with the Italian-American team after a season of ups, downs and even ‘disagreements’ that didn’t go too unnoticed. Mick was improving, but not as much as the team expected, and several crashes, which cost the team millions of money, didn’t help his position.
Collaboration with the FDA (Ferrari Driver Academy) was interrupted at the end of the season due to a shared choice: in Ferrari, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz have a contract until 2024 with the possibility of renewal, and in the FDA, there are other waiting talents (such as Arthur Leclerc and Oliver Bearman) who prompted Maranello to release Schumacher.
The decision to try and sign a deal with Aston Martin and Alpine also did not help his position, thus convincing both Ferrari and Haas to ‘unload’ him definitively. Luckily for Schumacher, however, Mercedes was ready to take him and appoint him as their third driver, waiting for a seat in some customer team for the future.
Gunther Steiner instead appointed Nico Hulkenberg as the team’s new driver, alongside Kevin Magnussen (who has a multi-year contract): “We needed an expert driver, and Nico was often in the team mid-table and has always helped them improve.”
VF23: the shakedown at Silverstone on February 11th.
The announcement of the on-track debut for the VF-23 also accompanied the presentation of the Haas livery. Haas’s 2023 car will make its debut at Silverstone on February 11th , where it will secure its first laps.
These shakedowns will be very important for the teams to make sure that everything has gone correctly in the construction and assembly processes of the car, before the fast-approaching February tests from 23-25 February, to be held in Bahrain.
The statements of Gene Haas, Gunther Steiner and the CEO of MoneyGram, Alex Holmes
Gene Haas: “I was delighted to welcome MoneyGram as title partner for the 2023 season and beyond, and it is exciting to reveal our first livery as the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team .
“We enter a new season having seen some great performances from the team and the return to points finishes in the standings. The target for 2023 is to be more consistent (in scoring points), and with Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, I think we have an experienced driver duo who will be able to score these points on Sunday.”
Alex Holmes: “It has been exciting to see how two global organizations truly come together as one team to form the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. We have worked hand in hand to bring this livery to life, capitalizing on our many similarities whilst capitalizing on each of our unique strengths.
“As we both usher in a new era with a clear plan and vision, we are ready to work closely together to reach new heights this year. The elegant livery design is symbolic of who MoneyGram is today, a company that is ready for the future, and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come”
Gunther Steiner: “I share the excitement around the unveiling of our livery. It’s a step in the pre-season calendar, which means we’re one step closer to doing what we really want to do, which is racing. I like the livery, it’s undoubtedly a more elevated and modernized look that fits as we move into a new era alongside MoneyGram as our main partner.
“It’s an exciting time of year for Formula 1, and it’s great that we are the first to show our livery, but our focus is firmly on getting the VF-23 out on the track and preparing for the season ahead.
“We really have something to build on after last year’s performance. The whole organization has worked hard to reach this point, and obviously, in Kevin (Magnussen) and Nico (Hülkenberg), we have two proven talents who will bring points to the team I can’t wait for it to start”
Author: Paolo D’Alessandro
Translation: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang