After a barren 2021 season when they failed to trouble the scorers, Haas were back among the points last season – but can they build on their P8 finish in the constructors’ championship in 2023? Here’s everything you need to know about F1’s American team and their goals for the new campaign…
Drivers for 2023
Kevin Magnussen #20: 1 podium, 1 pole position, 183 points, 141 starts
Nico Hulkenberg #27 : 1 pole position, 521 points, 181 starts
Kevin Magnussen made a shock return to Formula 1 with Haas in 2022, the Danish driver having raced for the team from 2017-2020 with a best drivers’ championship finish of ninth in 2018. He was dropped for 2021, but then made a late surprise comeback just before the beginning of last season.
Magnussen and then-Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg had an infamous and foul-mouthed exchange at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix, but will spend this coming season as team mates.
Hulkenberg, now 35, has raced for the likes of Williams, Force India and Renault, with two substitute appearances for Racing Point in 2020 and two for Aston Martin in 2022 as he sat on the fringes of full-time action. The German racer has the dubious honour of holding the record for most F1 starts without a podium. Could he break that duck on his full time comeback with Haas?
There was drama at Haas before the 2022 season even began as Magnussen had to be drafted in during pre-season testing when Russian driver Nikita Mazepin – and the team’s title sponsors – split from the team at short notice.
The 30-year-old returnee began with a stunning P5 in the opening race in Bahrain and scored points on five more occasions, even taking a stunning pole position in the wet at Sao Paulo that shocked the paddock.
READ MORE: Steiner credits Magnussen for becoming ‘more mature’ on F1 return and tips Dane to get ‘even better’
Meanwhile, his sophomore team mate Mick Schumacher couldn’t match that form early on with the young German having to wait until the British Grand Prix to score his first F1 points – which he did in some style – before taking a spectacular P6 in Austria.
But Schumacher didn’t score again and his departure from the team was announced in November 2022, before Hulkenberg was announced as his replacement for this year.
Haas aren’t the first American team in F1, nor are they even the first ‘Haas’ team in F1 (the latter honour goes to the comepletely unrelated Haas Lola outfit, who raced in 1985 and ’86). But they are the most recent all-new F1 entry, after Gene Haas purchased the factory of Banbury-based Marussia F1 to enter the sport in 2016.
Strong links with Ferrari, plus a chassis-manufacturing partnership with Italian firm Dallara, kept the costs down, and they finished a solid eighth in their first two seasons before jumping to fifth in 2018.
They slumped back to ninth in the following two campaigns and ended 2021 without scoring in P10 before recovering with 37 points in 2022. Throughout their existence, the charismatic, outspoken and experienced Guenther Steiner has been Haas’s F1 Team Principal.
READ MORE: ‘It’s been a real journey’ – Magnussen reflects on whirlwind F1 return that included ‘massive surprise’
Magnussen’s shock pole position last year is a close second, but it has to be their impressive 2018 campaign. That year they came out swinging with a quick car, and drivers Romain Grosjean and Magnussen used it to great effect to score a combined 93 points and take the team to a superb P5 in the constructors’ championship – their best finish to date.
If the point-less 2021 campaign can be classed as ‘rocky’, last year’s season was a massive improvement, and while Schumacher wasn’t retained – he’s now Mercedes’ reserve driver – Haas have two experienced racers at the helm and will continue to aim to use close links with Ferrari to claw their way up into the midfield battle.
Further stability comes in the form of a new title sponsor, Moneygram, who have joined Haas for 2023. After a few tumultuous years, Steiner seems to have steadied the ship and with all the key ingredients now in place, will now be seeking some strong results when the racing gets under way in 2023. The goal must surely be to improve on their P8 constructors’ championship finish from last year.