Formula One

F1 MoneyGram Haas 2023 Preview: Can Haas Recover Its Old Form?

MoneyGram Haas had a season full of ups and downs in 2022. Bouncing back from a terrible 2021, the American team reaped the benefits of shifting its focus to the new regulations. Will it improve again in 2023 and avoid the drop seen at the end of last year?

Formula One MoneyGram Haas F1 Car 2023
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-23. 03.03.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Practice Day –, EMail: [email protected] © Copyright: Coates / XPB Images – Photo by Icon sport

Drive to Survive sensation MoneyGram Haas enjoyed a fine ride to the top of the mid-field teams up until 2019. Coming off a fifth place finish in the previous year, the American team looked set to make the leap and challenge for the occasional podium.

But some poor administrative decisions and bad car designs sent the team the opposite direction. Haas could only manage a combined 31 points between 2019 and 2020, a far-cry from the 93 it had scored in 2018.

After enduring a difficult two-year run, the American squad made a bold decision before the 2021: to completely halt the development of its car, focusing all resources on the new 2022 regulations.

That’s not always going to lead to success. BMW famously gave up on the 2008 title fight to focus on the new ruleset for 2009 – only to deliver one of the slowest cars on the grid.

But MoneyGram Haas’ decision paid off, with F1 returnee Kevin Magnussen finishing an impressive fifth in the Bahrain opener, matching the team’s best result.

That was all MoneyGram Haas managed to achieve in 2022, however. Magnussen and Mick Schumacher finished inside the top 10 five times over the next 21 races, with Schumacher’s sixth place in Austria being the team’s best result during that span. MoneyGram Haas only finished inside the points once after the summer break, a ninth place for Magnussen in Austin.

Will the North Carolina-based team keep up with the development race in 2023 to avoid another steep drop?

Formula One MoneyGram Haas 2023 Team Preview: Can It Go Back to the Mid-field Mix?

Pole Positions1
Constructors’ Championships0
2022 Constructors’ Standings8th (37 points)
MoneyGram Haas’ F1 stats

MoneyGram Haas’ promising start to 2022 never materialized into something bigger. Unable to repeat its Bahrain success, the American team tumbled down the order to another eighth place in the constructors’ standings.

From a glass half-full perspective, MoneyGram Haas took a big leap last year and found itself battling for points again – something that had not happened since the 2018 season. But from the glass half-empty perspective, the American team invested much more time in its 2022 car than most of its mid-field rivals, and only had 37 points to show for it – two ahead of ninth place AlphaTauri.

Magnussen’s epic pole position in Brazil was definitely the team’s greatest moment in F1, but MoneyGram Haas still lacked the pace to regularly battle for points during the second half of the year.

Keeping up with the development race has always been a problem for the American team, with budget limitations being a recurring problem over its seven years in F1. With new title sponsor MoneyGram coming onboard for 2023, Haas expects to finally clear the financial hurdle.

The team’s finances also took a hit in 2022 with Schumacher’s early season crashes. And while the young German did improve towards the end of the season, MoneyGram Haas ultimately decided to drop him in Nico Hulkenberg’s favour. Now with one of the most experienced driver pairings in the field and a title sponsor, will Haas finally catch up and, perhaps more importantly, keep up with its mid-field rivals?

MoneyGram Haas Drivers in F1 2023

As mentioned earlier, MoneyGram Haas let Mick Schumacher go at the end of 2022. Despite the German doing better towards the end of the season, and even finishing ahead of the more experienced Magnussen in their head-to-head (12-9), Schumacher was dropped in favour of the returning Hulkenberg. Both drivers have been signed through 2024. Will Haas’ option for experience pay off?

Kevin Magnussen

Pole Positions1
2022 Drivers’ Standings13th (25 points)
Kevin Magnussen’s F1 stats

Magnussen’s F1 days were all but over at the end of 2020. The Danish driver did some celebratory burnouts as he bowed out of a career that never achieved the highs it should have.

After a solid season in the Weathertech Sportscar Championship in 2021, Magnussen signed a deal with Peugeot to become part of the French manufacturer’s two-car squad in the WEC.

But all of a sudden, his F1 career was thrown an unexpected lifeline after Nikita Mazepin’s exit. Magnussen became an obvious choice for Haas, and sure enough the 30-year old found himself back in the familiar cockpit.

Despite having little time to get used to the car, the Danish driver finished an impressive fifth in Bahrain, his best result since 2018. Although Haas failed to keep up with the rest of the mid-field pack for the remainder of the season, Magnussen still managed to pull off a historic pole position under torrential rain at Interlagos.

With a more experienced teammate on the other side of the garage, Magnussen and Haas expect to achieve better results this year. The Danish still has plenty left in the tank, and will be a regular contender for points as long as the American team gives him a good car.

Nico Hulkenberg

Pole Positions1
2022 Drivers’ Standings22nd (0 points)
Nico Hulkenberg’s F1 stats

Four years removed from his last full season drive, Hulkenberg never truly left F1. The German driver was called up as an emergency substitute for Lance Stroll on two occasions in 2020. The German shocked the paddock after qualifying an impressive third place for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, despite having no prior experience with the car.

Hulkenberg stayed around as F1’s favourite super-sub, stepping in for Stroll again at the Eifel Grand Prix later that year. The experienced German finished inside the points after jumping into the car on Sunday morning, with no practice mileage under his belt. His impressive performances led to a test/reserve role with Aston Martin for 2021.

Again, Hulkenberg had to step in as a super-sub for Sebastian Vettel in the first two races of 2022. And now, the 35-year old makes his return as a full season driver.

As we’ve seen from his one-off appearances, the 2014 Le Mans winner also has enough left in the tank to be competitive. Will Hulkenberg’s and Magnussen’s combined experience help MoneyGram Haas make the leap in F1 2023?

MoneyGram Haas Car 2023 – The VF-23

Haas unveiled its 2023 challenger, the VF-23, through virtual renders. The real car was only shown at Silverstone after a few weeks.

While most teams have decided to follow Red Bull and adopt a ramp design for their sidepods, MoneyGram Haas was one of the few to adopt Ferrari’s solution instead. The VF-23 MoneyGram F1 2023 car adopted the bathtub shape used by its engine provider – which makes a lot of sense.

While the VF-23 kept most of its predecessor’s design, with some minor updates to the wings, the engine cover was the only other part to see some real changes. Haas improved upon its already unique design, using all the space allocated by the regulations to recreate a shark fin-style appendix.

Haas has been fairly conservative with its new challenger, showing that the American team liked what they had at hand with the VF-22. Considering that last year’s car was competitive right off the bat, it’s fair to assume that MoneyGram Haas does indeed have a solid platform to build upon.

Again, the team’s fate in F1 2023 will likely come down to the car’s development. Can MoneyGram Haas finally get over this hurdle?

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