Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Monaco, 2023

Haas thrilled as upgrade performance exceeds wind tunnel predictions

RaceFans Round-up

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In the round-up: Haas may have had an awful Sunday in Monaco, but feel boosted by the impact of their car upgrades.

In brief

Haas getting a morale as well as performance benefit from upgrades

Haas’ director of engineering Ayao Komatsu says the car upgrades they brought to Monaco have exceeded performance expectations.

“It’s really positive for the team because the first major upgrade we brought to track in Miami, it just worked,” Komatsu explained. “It’s not as simple as saying ‘coming from the wind tunnel this is a big gain and this should work’, which happens quite often and you don’t actually see it, but this one was the opposite – it didn’t make a huge difference in the wind tunnel in terms of headline numbers, but we believed it was worthwhile introducing it due to certain details we saw.

“At the track, we saw exactly the behaviour change we expected, and in fact, it was actually better than anticipated. Then, following that philosophy, we brought a front wing to Monaco which was meant for Imola, but in Monaco you can’t measure anything so we will measure it this week. Team morale-wise, it’s brilliant.”

Sargeant disappointed with result in first wet F1 race

Williams’ Logan Sargeant was unhappy to finish a twice-lapped 18th in his maiden Monaco Grand Prix, which was also the first time he had driven a Formula 1 car in the wet.

“Once the rain came, it was just about learning a little bit on the inter tyre. A couple of mistakes that I had in the wet to clean up on,” he said to media including RaceFans.

“I mean there’s positives. I drove a car in the wet now, so I know what it’s like. I don’t think it was even too bad at times. Just a couple of small lock-ups, and obviously here you just have to go straight or turn around. But yeah, I mean it’s honestly disappointing.”

Indy 500 breaks prize money record

Newgarden trousered a record-breaking £2.9m
The Indianapolis 500 hit a new record with its prize money pot for entrants for the second year in a row.

Josef Newgarden earned $3.66 million (£2.9m) for taking the race win, and in total $17m (£13.7m) was handed out. It marked the biggest ever pay-out for the winner and for the 33-car field in total, with each driver getting an average of $500,600 in prize money.

Last year’s record was $16m which beat the 2008 record of $14.4m. AJ Foyt Racing’s Benjamin Pedersen earned the $50,000 bonus for being the race’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ by qualifying 11th and finishing 21st in the race.

Toyota announce Ritomo Miyata in new WEC role

Ritomo Miyata has been announced by Toyota as a ‘World Endurance Championship Challenge driver’, which will involve him working at Toyota Gazoo Racing’s European base in Germany.

Miyata was a Toyota junior early in his career, winning two Japanese Formula 4 titles and the Super Formula Lights championship. He then stepped up to Japan’s top sports car and single-seater series, and is currently in contention to win the title with Toyota teams in both Super GT and Super Formula having won races early in the year.

His new role will involve being trackside for three 2023 WEC rounds, and “a special WEC Challenge Programme training will be held at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June for young entry-level drivers”.

Hill raves about Monaco GP qualifying

Damon Hill, the 1996 Formula 1 world champion, praised the high standard of driving in the qualifying session for last weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

“By the end of this year’s qualifying, my heart was pumping adrenaline as if I was actually driving,” he told The Telegraph. “That was the best Monaco qualifying session I can ever remember seeing.

“Total drama. Watching the best of the best put it all on the line to get that oh-so-important perfect lap. They were all brilliant. Now, maybe it is because I used to race myself that I can feel and see something newcomers don’t get. But we have to help them get it. Because Monaco is special.”

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Comment of the day

There have been all kinds of recommendations to improve the race action in Monaco, and changing the track layout is one that has been taken seriously by figures in F1. The issue is in part due to the large size of modern F1 cars, but can that be changed?

Similarly how they use a different aero and engine package in IndyCar for racing ovals, Formula 1 should have a Monaco set-up. Make them use iron brake discs, or whatever other material, that would make braking distances twice as long. It would facilitate overtaking like nothing else could.

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On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today Jimmy Vasser won the ChampCar round at Milwaukee

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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12 comments on “Haas thrilled as upgrade performance exceeds wind tunnel predictions”

  1. “At the track, we saw exactly the behaviour change we expected, and in fact, it was actually better than anticipated. Then, following that philosophy, we brought a front wing to Monaco which was meant for Imola, but in Monaco you can’t measure anything so we will measure it this week. Team morale-wise, it’s brilliant.”

    So let me get this straight. Haas brought an upgrade that was ‘brilliant’ and they’re the slowest cars on the grid? I’m not sure I’d be patting myself on the back for that sort of ‘progress’……

    What a joke. Let Andretti in.

    1. Well, seems to me he’s been reading too much the Alpine guys speeches.
      They’re the ones that like to praise themselves with mere stuff like repositioning mechanical parts inside the car, that have zero practical effect for performance. Literally zero.

  2. Go further than that.

    Make 2 specs of cars. The current size for bigger tracks, then a smaller one (1.8m wide and maybe add a length limit, or even smaller than that) for tracks such as Monaco and Hungary. Have each spec be used at half of the tracks. Let every team decide how they are going to allocate their budget to develop each spec.

    There. Better racing for Monaco (and probably other tracks, plus maybe opening the door for other tracks to join the championship?), and it might add variability to team performance during the season. Maybe the teams fighting for the championship try to balance their spending between both specs. Maybe Williams focuses on the smaller car to try and have an advantage on those tracks. Maybe Ferrari will focus on whatever spec is used at Monza because winning that is a realistic goal. Who knows?

    1. @casjo Good in theory, but how viable such a scenario would be practically is another matter.

  3. Sargeant may have struggled in the race, but Albon didn’t really fare any better overall, but looking at the big picture is more important than a single race, as in this regard, he’s fared relatively decently, especially compared to his predecessor from whom he quickly proved an improvement, which was the minimum expectation.

    Mail Online: & rightly so because St. Devote is okay in its present form & the detour options deviating before Massenet & Portier wouldn’t necessarily guarantee improved overtaking, given how tight those sections are.

    On the other hand, the suggestion about iron brake discs seems viable, so I wouldn’t mind this as a Monaco-specific thing if that truly helped matters despite the track’s narrowness & lack of proper straights.

    1. Yeah, both Williams were running more or less together somewhere at the end of the field for most of the race @jerejj. Off course it is understandable that the car is not great here when where it works best is on long straight stretches of track. But really I would say both were doing an OK job, with a car ill suited to the track and with the rain in difficult circumstances.

      Latifi was able to mess up with better circumstances and a lot more experience. Sargeant is still a rookie and he has done ok so far when we take that in account. With some good shows to point to his potential.

      1. @bascb Indeed concerning both aspects.

  4. Can’t wait for Keith’s Ricciardo article. Hope it fills me on on how loud Daniel is allowed to go at Silverstone.

    1. @davedai Same & the single aspect I’ve most looking forward to reading is his answer to the question ‘top team or nothing’ for next season, given he quite literally said earlier this year that he wouldn’t only want to make up numbers in lower positions.

      1. 👍 Yes he’s talked now time to walk.
        As Horner said “he’s 10 minutes away” and that was about 7 minutes ago. @jerejj

  5. COTD’s idea is interesting. But surely safety concerns are gonna be raised on deprecated brakes in light of the rest of the car package and the flow of the track.

    The thing is, Monaco feasibility is way besides the point now with actual disappointing car’s formula. Lots of tracks suffer the same concerns whereas, in reality, current cars are what is not suited for Formula racing.

    As for what Horner said, it’d be easier to both sides to compromise. Monaco has room for improvement with very few earth usage: 1st, go left after Mirabeau Bas and rejoin at Portier, there’d be couple meters straight ahead for the tunnel entrance. Then, move the chicane ahead similar to how it went in 1972 (IIRC) now with a new platform extension for it before rejoining at Tabac, as it is with current Nouvelle. That’s the overtaking point.

    Throw in nimbler cars with lighter engines and smaller rims and voilá. The crown jewel shines again.

  6. One aspect I noticed in the Spa crash is that there is quite an extended absence of debris fencing on the left side exiting Radillon, with a few marshalls unprotected behind a small armco barrier. If cars went over the armco (which is highly possible at the high speeds there), there are some trees right there, ready to cut them in two. Furthermore, I looked at the old configuration in one example of the 2019 F1 race, and there were spectators packed in there in a couple of places, separated from the cars by said armco and a spectator fence (not a proper debris fence) that the spectators were squeezed right up against.

    You’d think with the number of big crashes there, they’d have more imagination on where cars might go. And now with the recent major redesign of this section, they’d have addressed this. But as usual, F1 waits for the big one before reacting.

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