Komatsu: VF-24 will not turn heads in Bahrain

Komatsu: VF-24 will not turn heads in Bahrain

Komatsu: VF-24 will not turn heads in Bahrain

Haas expect to start the 2024 Formula 1 season among the tail-enders, new boss Ayao Komatsu said on Friday as the U.S.-owned team became the first to present their 2024 challenger.

The VF-24 car, shown online in digital renders, is a development of a concept introduced last October at the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin. It will have a track shakedown at Silverstone on February 11.

Haas, with Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg and Denmark’s Kevin Magnussen, finished last in 2023 with only 12 points from 22 races. Komatsu replaced the departed Guenther Steiner at the helm last month.

The 2024 F1 season starts in Bahrain on March 2 after testing there from February 21-23.

“Out of the gates in Bahrain…I still think we’re going to be towards the back of the grid, if not last,” said the Japanese engineer.

“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,” the Haas boss added.

Pre-season testing will be about understanding the VF-24

Komatsu said the immediate aim was to come away from testing in Bahrain with quality data to provide updates during the season.

He added that while the Austin update delayed the new car’s development, it provided more confidence in what was being presented now.

“We’re all realistic that our launch car in Bahrain will not necessarily turn heads, but our concentration and focus is to work with the VF-24, understand the car and then define the correct pathway to upgrade the car,” he explained.

Haas also announced chief designer Andrea De Zordo had been promoted to technical director and were expecting to fill his vacated role with an internal candidate.

Previous technical director Simone Resta, who previously worked for engine providers Ferrari, left the team at the same time as Steiner.

Damien Brayshaw has been appointed to the new role of performance director. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)