Formula 1 fans should not look beyond the striking new livery unveiled by Haas on Tuesday, according to a respected specialist publication.
As former team driver Mick Schumacher underwent a seat fitting for his new reserve role at Mercedes, Haas published rendered images of the black, white and red livery that will be raced by his replacement Nico Hulkenberg in 2023.
“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,” said Haas boss Gunther Steiner.
“But our attention is firmly on getting the VF-23 on track and preparing for the season ahead.”
Indeed, the livery itself is featured on a virtual car that features only the “basic shape” of last year’s Haas, according to Auto Motor und Sport correspondent Tobias Gruner.
“We asked the team and it was confirmed that the way the car differs from last year’s Haas was only a matter of the artistic freedom of the graphic designers,” he said.
Clearly, the sole objective was to show the livery without giving anything else away – a move that is likely to be followed by Haas’ F1 rivals.
The big news is that the new title sponsorship by Moneygram, finally replacing the lost Uralkali money, brings Haas right up to the budget cap limit.
That is despite the fact that the Schumacher-aligned German sponsor 1+1 has now departed the Haas livery. Bild newspaper claims the Moneygram deal is “more lucrative” than the Nikita Mazepin-inspired former Uralkali title sponsorship.
Steiner, however, admits that money wasn’t the team’s only problem as it raced to eighth in the constructors’ standings last year.
“We should have slimmed the car down more than we did,” he said, telling Auto Motor und Sport that the target for 2023 is to race up the grid to sixth overall with more ambitious car development.