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Komatsu aims to solve Haas’ tyre management woes of the past in Bahrain pre-season test

Komatsu has claimed that Haas is fully "focused on" fixing their tyre temperature issues to avoid a repeat of 2023

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Haas Team Principal Ayao Komatsu has announced that the American team will focus on improving their tyre management during the Bahrain pre-season test to avoid a drop in pace during the race.

Kevin Magnussen in VF24
Haas VF24 at shakedown test image courtesy of Haas F1 on X
Tyre temperature remains an issue for Haas

One main issue for the previous generation Haas, the VF23, was its inability to cool down its tyres, leading to overheating during the Grand Prix.

The overheating of the tyres meant despite the Haas pairing of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg starting high up the order, they would soon drop off as the rubber beneath them began to run away from its optimal operating temperature.

This pace downfall led Haas to the bottom of the Constructors’ Championship, finishing 10th with only 12 points.

Komatsu admitted earlier in the year that the car they take to the first race in Bahrain would most likely be at the bottom of the timing sheets.

However, all hope is not lost for Haas, as the Japanese engineer has announced that he plans to rectify their race pace issue before the start of the new season.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Komatsu said:

“It’s not really so much comparing the differences across the specs, but if you look at our issue last year, it was clear that on Sunday we just couldn’t manage the tyres for 300 kilometres,” said Komatsu.

“So that’s what we’re focused on.

“Our Bahrain test programme is completely focused on generating the relevant data so that our engineers can understand what’s happening to the car and what’s happening to the tyres.

“Then we can decide, if we have good quality data, on the conclusion of how to improve it. Then we decide a different direction on that.”

Haas aims to make small steps to recovery

The US-based outfit’s best result in 2023 was a seventh-place finish by Hulkenberg at the Australian Grand Prix. This result was worlds apart from the highs of the end of their 2022 campaign, Magnussen claiming pole position in qualifying for the Sao Paulo sprint race.

Haas’ last top-five finish came over 600 days ago at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Now, the Haas team principal has short-term targets to see some “incremental improvements” for the team to ascend back up the order.

“The short-term objective really is to make incremental improvements,” Komatsu added.

“As I’ve said before, I believe we’ve got good ingredients and we’ve got good people in the team, but we’ve really got to focus on the team being as one to make those improvements.

“Long-term obviously comes as a result of that, so for instance, our first ‘medium-term’ goal is to upgrade to a car that works, and that has happened before so I believe we can do it.”

 

Featured image: Photo by Qian Jun/MB Media/Getty Images

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