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Haas not ruling out F1 sidepod concept change

Haas is not wedded to its in-wash sidepod concept and could follow Formula 1 rivals in switching to the Red Bull-style downwash solution.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23, Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43

The American-owned outfit has long pursued the same sidepod design as Ferrari, which provides it with its power unit and a raft of customer parts. 

But while it made complete sense to follow the same route as its partner up until now, the sidepod concept has come under the spotlight again after Ferrari made a shift towards another solution. 

From the Spanish Grand Prix, Ferrari elected to pursue a more downwash style of design, leaving Haas as the only outfit now doing its own thing. 

But while Haas says that there are advantages that come from the in-wash concept, its technical director Simone Resta has admitted that change could be on the horizon. 

“Clearly the bodywork is something that is getting a lot of attention,” he said. “Formula 1 is very glamorous so yeah, I understand it.  

“But if you look at the bodywork, essentially you've got the follow up part of the undercut where the style is similar between all the cars, there's some who have pushed a little bit more, some a bit less. Then there is the side part, which is very wide, and then there is the rearward part.  

“In this part, we are a bit different to the others. Of course, we have been looking at things from the beginning of the regulations, so from the middle of 2021, and we thought we picked up the best option for us.  

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“We keep reviewing it. We reviewed it for this year's car and we keep looking at it. We might change, we might not. Let's see.” 

While a change of sidepod solution would be most likely to happen for 2024, Resta has suggested that timing wise it could still happen this season if the team finds a genuine step forward from a switch. 

“We are entering into a window where it's more and more difficult to upgrade this year's car in terms of timing,” he said.  

“But still, we are in July and the season will end up close to the end of the year.  

“So technically there could be time to change also the complete bodywork if we think it makes the car faster.” 

Ferrari’s change of sidepod design had to be undertaken with some compromises because some internal architecture and the position of side impact protection bars could not be moved. 

Asked if Haas would face similar limitations with its architecture in making a switch, Resta said: “Honestly, we're not looking for excuses, we just have to improve our performance.  

“We've got a good architecture of the car, we're happy with that. We just have to improve it here and there.  

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“We could do different bodywork, different floors, different wings and stuff and move forward. We don't need excuses, we just have to build performance, develop faster, bring quickly stuff to the track that works and move forward. There's scope to do that.  

“It's fair to say, though, that in terms of timing, we are close to the summer shutdown. And so therefore, you are entering into a window of time where you start to transition yourself normally to the new car. So, we are trying to spread our resources across two projects.”

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