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Komatsu “very happy” with Australia points, still sees room to improve

Despite finishing with double points at the Australian GP, Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu feels there is room to improve. The Japanese team principal is leading an impressive start to 2024 for Haas, reaping the rewards for an intentional and aggressive testing program in Bahrain.

Currently seventh in the standings, the American outfit is turning heads in the F1 world. After news of Guenther Steiner’s departure emerged over winter, coverage of Haas F1 was generally very negative.

A lack of investment, limited infrastructure and – perhaps most critically – Gene Haas’ disinterest in changing this were cited as reasons their 2024 would be underwhelming.

Finishing last season in last place, with just one upgrade all year, did not help perceptions of the team either.

However, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen already have points on the board. Only Yuki Tsunoda in the RB machine can say this of the other drivers with the bottom five teams.

A combination of improved race pace and effective strategy have put Haas in a very solid position. Whilst 4 points is a reasonable points tally after three rounds in most years, the 2024 midfield is exceptionally competitive.

The lack of opportunities for slower teams to score points means that top-1o results are extremely difficult to come by. When points are on the table, as they were in Melbourne, they must be taken. In this respect, Haas can be thrilled with their start to F1 2024.

After securing his first double points finish as team principal, Ayao Komatsu was thrilled with his weekend in Melbourne.

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Komatsu gives verdict on Haas F1’s execution

Despite this, the ever-thorough Japanese engineer still believes there is room to improve:

“It was a great day with a double points finish, the first time since Austria 2022. Especially after yesterday’s qualifying, I said we expected to have a better race pace.

“But to be able to get double points is better than expected, so it just goes to show that you need to be there. You need to do everything perfectly to be able to pick up those last available positions.

“It wasn’t perfect today, so there’s some things that we need to improve, but overall, I’m so happy for the team.

“Both drivers drove a brilliant race, and the pit stop crew, when it was critical, they delivered. They got our drivers out in front of the competition. What a great team effort, I’m very happy.”

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One of the biggest changes for Haas this year, aside from their performance, is operational excellence.

The US-based outfit is executing effective strategies and solid pit-stops to optimise the VF-24’s performance.

With Alpine, Sauber, and Williams struggling, Haas F1 has an opportunity to secure a reasonable finish in the standings.

However, past seasons offer a cautionary tale. For Komatsu’s squad, it will be essential to maintain this form throughout the season.


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