The Formula 1 2023 season is closer than ever and Haas made the first car reveal of the season on the 31st of January. The cars are to be driven by Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg this season. The last year was comparatively pretty successful for the American team as they finished the season in 8th place with 37 points.
The new VF-23 digital renders released by Haas aren’t drastic but it is refreshing.
Black is the base color and it has white features and red highlights. The all-new MoneyGram logo is set up on the engine cover and front wing which will also feature the driver numbers for Magnussen and Hulkenberg, 20 and 27 respectively. It also features the Palm Angels logo on the barge board and the other sponsors on the nose.
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said “I share everyone’s enthusiasm around the livery unveil, not least as it’s a checkpoint in the pre-season calendar which means we’re another step closer to doing the thing we want to be doing – and that’s go racing,”
“I like the livery, it’s undoubtedly a more elevated and modernized look which is fitting as we move into a new era alongside MoneyGram as our title partner.” added the team principal.
“It’s an exciting time of year for Formula 1 and it’s great that we’re first out the gate to showcase our livery but our attention is firmly on getting the VF-23 on track and preparing for the season ahead.”, Guenther said.
Haas aims on going up against the midfield this season by getting regular points finishes and fighting with the midfield.
Haas’ turbulent relationship with its sponsors
Guenther Steiner has had his fair share of problems with sponsors ever since his advent in 2016. The team has had struggles with mainly two companies, Rich Energy and Uralkali.
In 2019, Haas F1 Team and Rich Energy had a sponsorship agreement, but the relationship between the two organizations was rocky and eventually ended in a legal dispute. The controversy centered on several statements made by Rich Energy CEO William Storey, who claimed that his company produced “the best” energy drink and made disparaging remarks about Red Bull.
As a result, Haas terminated the sponsorship agreement with Rich Energy, and the company later sued Haas, claiming that the team had used its branding without permission. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed, but Haas and Rich Energy’s relationship remained strained.
The disagreement between Haas F1 Team and Uralkali arose in 2021 when the Russian fertilizer company terminated its partnership with Haas F1 Team. The reason for the sponsorship’s termination was not made public, but it was rumored to be due to Uralkali’s financial difficulties.
Moreover, Nikita Mazepin, the son of Uralkali owner, Dmitry Mazepin was the driver of Haas F1 in 2021 and delivered pretty controversial performances. The young Russian’s ability to handle an F1 racecar is still questioned by F1 fans to date.
Furthermore, because of the abrupt termination of the sponsorship, the Haas F1 Team found itself in financial difficulty and scrambled to find a new sponsor. The situation was a significant setback for the team, which had relied on Uralkali funding to support its operations and compete at the highest level of motorsport.
The American F1 team has had a relatively better season in 2022 on the grid than in the preceding seasons. Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen scored 12 and 25 points respectively. With the improved Ferrari powertrain, Haas managed to finish in the 8th spot. In 2021, Haas had a forgettable season with Nikita Mazepin causing more problems and scoring no points resulting in them finishing last in the Constructors Championship.