The American-owned outfit has remained an outlier in sticking to the in-wash solution that technical partner Ferrari has begun the new regulations rules era with.
However, Ferrari decided not to use the in-wash solution at the Spanish Grand Prix, and Mercedes also chose not to use their zero pods at Monaco. As a result, Haas was the only team that did not adopt the downwash concept.
That will now change from next month’s race in Austin, as a major upgrade is planned which will include an overhaul of its sidepods to adopt the downwash solution that Red Bull has put to good use.
The team decided to alter their strategy prior to the summer break due to the belief that their current car had reached its maximum performance potential.
Team principal Guenther Steiner said: “That was our biggest problem with the concept we have now, we couldn’t find any performance any more.
“We spent the entire year working on it, but there was no progress. Eventually, it became necessary to approach things differently instead of persisting with unsuccessful attempts, especially when others were making advancements.”
“McLaren made alterations to the system in this way and made a discovery at a certain point. Therefore, eventually, it becomes necessary to alter the approach and confront the truth.”
Mechanics on the grid with Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
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Steiner added: “The plan was to have more upgrades with the concept we have got now. But because we didn’t find performance, we didn’t introduce upgrades this year.
“If the car doesn’t increase its speed, there is no purpose in producing car parts. Therefore, since we haven’t utilized that money, we can allocate it towards this significant upgrade.”
Steiner believes that despite the architectural limitations of the current VF-23 car, the downwash switch will be able to overcome them and provide valuable insights for the team’s future downwash solution in 2024.
Steiner explained that they were unsure about whether to do it this year or not, but they had plans to fully pursue that route in the following year.
“We decided that it was necessary to take action this year in order to maximize our learning about that particular concept for the following year. Additionally, we hope to acquire knowledge that can be incorporated into the design of next year’s car, both on and off the racetrack.”