Haas has decided to maintain consistency in its driver lineup for the next season, as they have officially confirmed that Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen will be retained for the 2024 season. While Magnussen is Haas' longest-tenured driver, Hulkenberg made his Haas debut in the 2023 season after sitting as a reserve driver for the Racing Point/Aston Martin team for the three seasons before. The two are currently ranked 14th and 18th in the drivers' standings for 2023, with Haas currently holding the eighth spot in the constructors' standings with 11 points. The first half of the pair's campaign was marred by in-race tyre wear issues that limited their chances to score points despite typically showing good promise in qualifying. The achievements of Hulkenberg in the qualifying sessions have garnered significant attention and recognition despite his considerable prowess in the sessions.
F1: Haas Goes for Stability
For Haas, continuing with Hulkenberg and Magnussen is the most rational course of action. Assuming they are in sync with the car, this duo has the potential to achieve excellent results. Due to the VF-23's significant tyre degradation, both drivers are now unable to maintain their full racing pace in the closing stages of the race.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner on the signing of both the drivers said, “I think it’s safe to say that we’ve had an extremely solid driver pairing this season in Formula 1 and ultimately there was no reason to look to change that moving forward. Kevin is obviously a very well-known quantity to us, and I’m delighted he’ll return for what will be his seventh season in Haas colours. With 113 starts for our team alone, we know where his strengths lie and his knowledge and experience of our organisation pair very well with that too. On the other side of the garage, Nico’s simply slotted in without fuss or fanfare and proved himself to be a valuable member of the team. He’s approaching 200 starts in Formula 1 and we’re very happy to be the beneficiary of that experience behind the wheel.'
Magnussen added: “I’m obviously very happy to see my relationship with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team extended once again. My return in 2022 had been unexpected but was filled with numerous highlights, and although this season hasn’t gone quite as we’d hoped, we’ve still managed to get into the points and show potential in the package we have.
Hulkenberg said: “It’s nice to get things sorted early for next season to just keep the focus on racing and improving performance. I enjoy being part of the team and share Gene and Guenther's passion for it. We're competing in a very tight midfield and I’m looking forward to building on what we’ve done together so far and taking that forward into 2024.”
Haas to Bring Upgrades for VF-23
There have been rumours that following the Formula 1 summer break, Haas may debut updated versions of the VF-23 at the Dutch Grand Prix. The team may also be looking forward to implementing a new design concept. The team's performance in recent races has seen a decline in competitiveness. Despite currently holding the eighth position in the championship with eleven points, this tally is on par with that of Williams.
On race weekends, the effect of a tyre degradation problem that has existed in the Haas is noticeable. Although Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen have both had impressive racing starts, the lengthier stretches often don't work out on the VF-23.
The team maintains a technical partnership with Ferrari and procures significant amounts of its components from Maranello. Consequently, both teams have comparable challenges, including tyre wear. The American team also has difficulties with this problem, which has been hampering Ferrari for the previous couple of seasons.