Formula One

Komatsu: New Haas VF-24 free of ‘nasty characteristics’


The Haas F1 team reported tangible progress last week in Bahrain in addressing the tyre degradation issues that plagued its car throughout the 2023 F1 season.

The positive development comes after a year where drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg consistently struggled for pace due to rapid tyre wear, ultimately hindering their performance and relegating Haas to the bottom of the 2023 F1 Constructors’ Championship.

In a bid to iron out once and for all the detrimental impact of tyre degradation, Haas adopted a strategic approach to their pre-season testing in Bahrain, prioritizing extensive race simulations with its new VF-24 car, aiming to identify and rectify the underlying causes responsible for the previous year’s struggles.

Based on the data gathered during testing, Haas team principal, Ayao Komatsu, emphasized a noticeable change in the car’s behavior, highlighting its improved consistency and predictability compared to the “nasty” characteristics of its 2023 machine.

“Last year’s car was inconsistent, it was quite nasty,” said Komatsu. “Depending on the conditions – tyre condition, wind condition or track temperature – the car really wasn’t behaving in a predictable manner.

“Whereas this year’s car is behaving in a predictable manner. It’s consistent. Yes, we are still lacking downforce, especially in high-speed and sort of balancing medium/low-speed characteristics, but I don’t think it’s got nasty characteristics.”


Komatsu believes the team’s efforts have resulted in a satisfactory baseline on which to build, with further upgrades expected early on.

The Japanese engineer highlighted the team’s continued focus on optimizing the car for race pace rather than chasing high grid positions, a strategy that will guide the team’s development throughout the season.

“You have got to decide what the biggest problem is you want to solve,” he added. “There is no point qualifying in P7 and going backwards on Sunday.

“I’d rather qualify P14 but have a car we can race and get up to the top 10. That’s our objective.

“I’m not going to suddenly turn up next weekend here and then start optimizing a car for qualifying, no.”

While this focus might translate to less qualifying success, Komatsu believes it will ultimately lay a stronger foundation for Haas’ overall performance on Sundays.

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Komatsu: New Haas VF-24 free of ‘nasty characteristics’

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