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Haas expect to be slowest team on the grid at season opener

Driver Kevin Magnussen has laid out his expectations for the year under new boss Ayao Komatsu

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Haas F1 Team are refraining from “unrealistic optimism” for 2024 and anticipate being backmarkers for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

2 Formula 1 Images , Red Bull Ring , Andy Hone
Ayao Komatsu (left) and Kevin Magnussen (right) (Image Credit: Andy Hone / LAT Images)

The American outfit struggled throughout the 2023 campaign, ending the year at the very bottom of the Constructors’ Standings on 12 points.

Team members and fans will be hoping that Haas’ 2024 challenger, the VF-24, will propel them further up the grid.

Add to that the appointment of new Team Principal Ayao Komatsu to replace the outgoing Guenther Steiner, one can expect changes in the competitiveness and environment within Haas.

Their driver lineup for 2024 remains the same, with a pair of experienced drivers in Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen. The latter is grounding his forecasts for the year ahead.

Magnussen’s 2024 predictions

As reported by motorsport.com, Magnussen is not surmising a sudden jump up in relative performance, and credits Komatsu with setting realistic goals for Haas as a whole.

He said: “Expectations are being managed quite well this year.

“I think some years there has been some unrealistic optimism going into seasons, and I’ve been affected by it as well.”

While he supposes the start of the 2024 World Championship will be tough, the pace of the VF-24 will likely improve as the season progresses.

He continued: “Expectations are low to begin with, but high for the season as a whole.

“Certainly, Ayao is very clear that he doesn’t think we’ve moved out of last year’s position yet, but he’s clear in that he sees the development trajectory looking a lot stronger, so he’s actually optimistic that we can move forward through this year.”

The next time we will see Haas F1 on track will be for pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, which begins 21 February. The opening round of this year’s campaign is the Bahrain Grand Prix, commencing March 2.

Feature Image Credit: @HaasF1Team on X

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