haas magnussen bahrain gp f1 2022

Is Haas the 2022 F1 dark horse?

haas magnussen bahrain gp f1 2022

Bad news is nothing new for Guenther Steiner, head of the Haas Formula 1 team. Earlier this year, the F1 team cut ties with their sponsor Uralkali and, by extension, driver Nikita Mazepin.

Since then, speculation has run riot relating to Haas’s future in F1. At the moment, the global racing series is enjoying a worldwide revival, which means more fans than ever are pulling for Steiner, Haas, and the return of Mazepin’s replacement, Kevin Magnussen. Alongside young gunner Mick Schumacher, things are (tentatively) looking stable for Haas.

For now, punters who follow F1 are trying to gauge which dark horses are suitable for a free bet from a group like Caesars sportsbook, which favours Mercedes and Red Bull to hash it out for first. With third place up in the air (and possibly second), could Haas be this year’s surprise success?

A Question of Off-Season Improvements

schumacher magnussen bahrain 2022

As mentioned above, the majority of attention this year will focus on Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as they compete for the driver’s championship, as well as Mercedes and Red Bull as they compete for the constructors.

However, it seems that Haas might be able to scrap with Ferrari for a position in third. Much of this will come down to which team’s chief designer found the most success this off-season. Both Ferrari and Haas struggled with lacklustre cars last year, which meant the efforts from top racers like Charles Le Clerc and Mick Schumacher amounted to little.

There’s just one huge caveat for Ferrari and Haas: McLaren.

Rules Changes: A Plus for Haas?

haas vf-22 2022 f1 new car unveil launch

Traditionally, Ferrari has been held up as part of the winning trifecta in F1 alongside Mercedes and Red Bull.

For years, as Red Bull rebuilt, Ferrari was a top contender against Hamilton’s ongoing domination. Today, McLaren looks posited to swipe third; last year, Lando Norris outperformed Le Clerc for the sixth position in the driver’s championship, while McLaren nabbed fourth (behind Ferrari) in the constructor’s.

Already, F1 journalist Dieter Rencken has selected McLaren as his favorite to topple Ferrari. However, he’s also stated that Haas will be a top contender if the team has managed to create more downforce for their cars.

Working in Haas’s favour are the latest changes in F1, which often switch up the standard order. This year, major shifts to F1 rules include a new two-part pre-season test, which will improve on last year’s shortened format. However, the biggest change is related to aerodynamic testing, which will be shifted according to final placements.

As last year’s last-place finisher, Haas will have the biggest advantages related to aerodynamics in the first six months of the 2022 season. Once again, all eyes are on Steiner to see if he can shift the odds for Haas.