Haas F1 Team 2023 Bahrain Test Day 1 Recap

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MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen kicked off pre-season testing on Thursday with the duo combining to log a total of 108 laps in the VF-23 at the Bahrain International Circuit – the first of three test days prior to the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, March 3-5.

Newcomer Hulkenberg was first up behind the wheel running the morning session, the German having had his first taste of the VF-23 a couple of days prior in Bahrain at the team’s second and final permitted filming day – Magnussen previously sampling the car at Silverstone earlier in the month. The goal for the morning session was focused on reliability through a series of baseline runs with Hulkenberg finishing at the break with 51 laps to his credit.

Magnussen assumed steering duties in the afternoon and the team continued to focus on learning the fundamental characteristics of the new car. Magnussen built on his teammate’s lap tally, the Dane completing 57 laps in the second session which transitioned from day to night with the checkered flag bringing track activities to a close under the lights at 19:30 local time.

Nico Hulkenberg:

“It feels good to be back! It’s been an exciting few days but I’m happy to now put the ‘theory’ aside and start the practical part of the job, get in the car again, and live it. I had good fun, 51 laps was quality work I would say – a bit less than maybe what we wanted to do – but they were quality laps. It’s about starting somewhere and then learn as you go with the car, making changes and see how the car reacts, so in that respect it was a successful morning.”

Kevin Magnussen: 

“We had a few little issues but we got through what we planned – maybe two laps were missed! It went smoothly for the first day of testing and we haven’t got anywhere near qualifying simulations yet so we’ll see tomorrow when we get slightly closer to those levels, but I’m pretty happy so far. I think everything indicates that we’re in a good position and right now it’s about working – not competing – just collecting knowledge on the car.”

Ayao Komatsu – Director of Engineering:

“The objective of the first day of pre-season testing was to understand the fundamentals of the car – ride-height, stiffness, balance in the right window and mileage and reliability – so we tried to do as many laps as possible. We didn’t 100 percent meet our objectives, but Nico did 51 laps in the morning and Kevin did 57 laps in the afternoon, which is pretty good. We only had minor issues, but we understand the solution. It’s too early to talk about performance but our initial feeling is good from what we achieved – so it’s a good start for day one.”

Haas F1 Team PR

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