Haas has undergone a significant change in its driver line-up within two years, moving from having two rookies in Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin to one of the most experienced on the grid. Nico Hulkenberg, who had been without a full-time drive for three years, partnered with Kevin Magnussen in 2023, and he returned spectacularly to the sport by qualifying 10th on his debut for the team in Bahrain. Hulkenberg also put up an impressive performance in Saudi Arabia, where he outqualified Magnussen at both venues, albeit the Dane earned the team’s first point of the year in 10th place. Team Principal Guenther Steiner expressed his satisfaction with Hulkenberg‘s performance, stating that he has given the team what they were looking for. Hulkenberg‘s experience came in handy, especially in the areas where the team had struggled in the past.
Steiner acknowledged that cost management was a crucial factor for the team with respect to the incident costs incurred by Schumacher in a series of crashes last year, which may have been more distressing for the team. The tyre and track temperatures have been fundamental factors this season, with several teams struggling to reach the pinnacle of their performances. The team’s cost control and reduced damage bills, especially in incidences of potential crashes, are areas where Hulkenberg‘s experience as a driver can play a critical role.
Haas has experienced problems with previous driver line-ups, and therefore, Hulkenberg and Magnussen are under strict orders to be careful when racing against each other. Both drivers have accepted this ruling, signifying their collective maturity. Magnussen revealed that Haas has an internal policy that blocks racers from fighting or blocking each other. Instead, they must work together as a team to maximise their performance, which is the ultimate goal. Hulkenberg agrees with this rule and stated that there have not been any problems with Magnussen, adding that he overtook him in their last race with ease.