Haas went through several lean years leading up to 2021, and decided to focus fully on exploiting the following year’s rules reset. It signed the well-funded but inexperienced duo of Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher to get it through a compromised 2021 season.
While Mazepin was replaced by Magnussen on the eve of the 2022 campaign due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Haas has now made the conscious move of bringing in Nico Hulkenberg alongside him, shifting from two rookies to a pair of extremely experienced drivers in the space of two seasons.
The move coincides with the arrival of MoneyGram as Haas’ new, big-money title sponsor, which has helped the team’s funding reach the budget cap.
Magnussen feels the team has been revitalised as it enters what he calls a “new era”.
“Haas definitely has taken a step. It’s a new era for the team that we’re stepping into, I would say,” he said when asked by Autosport if Haas is well-placed to leap forward thanks to the fresh investment and an experienced driver line-up.
“It’s exciting, we’re heading in the right direction. And it’s going to be exciting to see where we go.
“Everyone in the team can see that we’re in a good place and getting closer to achieving the goals that we have. And progress motivates everyone.”
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, leaves the garage
Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
While tight purse strings prevented Haas from introducing more than one significant upgrade last year, the team will now be able to pursue a more aggressive development strategy as it aims to improve on 2022’s eighth place in the constructors’ championship.
“It’s very clear that we’re better prepared for the season compared to where we were last year,” Magnussen explained.
“We can go to every race, whether it be Baku or Monaco, and feel like we can optimise the car for the track.
“That’s something that costs money. But the fact that we have a little bit of a boost for everyone, getting MoneyGram as a title sponsor, shows that we were able to create interest around the team last year to take that big step and get them on board.
“And hopefully that’s going to be a big push.”