Nov.2 (GMM) Nico Hulkenberg has issued a harsh assessment of Haas’ situation in Formula 1, as the small American team slumps to dead last in the championship.
That is despite the fact that, recently in Austin, the team finally revealed a major car upgrade – but it hasn’t delivered the hoped-for promise.
Indeed, when Hulkenberg struggled to a point-less finish in Mexico last weekend, the 36-year-old German was scathing.
“It was inevitable,” he told Ekstra Bladet newspaper when asked about Haas’ failure to score a point in Mexico – leaving the team four points behind both Alfa Romeo and Alpha Tauri.
“We’re paying the price for not having brought upgrades – for not having found performance,” said Hulkenberg.
“Hopefully it’s a wake-up call for everyone at home at the factory, because at this pace, you simply cannot compete in Formula 1.”
Haas had hoped the new ‘B’ car, with more of a Red Bull-like concept, would end the major problem of the tyres being eaten up over a longer run.
“The speed I needed to keep up was too high,” he said after Mexico, “so I really had to put it and that eats into the life of the tyres.”
Hulkenberg even thinks the original 2023 car specification would have been more competitive in Mexico.
“That one was more or less competitive in low speed corners, and Mexico is clearly dominated by low speed. I don’t know, I feel like the old specification might have been better but it’s clearly a one-way street for us going forward.”
As for teammate Kevin Magnussen, his ‘B’ car suffered a scary suspension failure due to overheating and high-speed crash in Mexico, and was seen afterwards shaking his hands in pain.
“I just got hit on my hands and they were a little sore afterwards, but they’re fine,” said the Dane.
Last year, eighth place in the constructors’ championship earned Haas a reported $78 million in official F1 prize money – and should expect about $10m less if it goes on to finishing tenth and last this season.