Former U.S. President Donald Trump had a saying about his first years in office, stating that he would put “America First”.
On Tuesday morning the newly sponsored American MoneyGram Haas F1 Team became the first this season to launch their VF-23 challenger, hoping that following two failed sponsors, that this Dallas, Texas based company with their finances will move them further up the grid.
The car, which had last year a combination of red and white after a dismissal of the Uralkali sponsor following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, now has changed to a more black and red and white logo, with both Haas and their main sponsor sharing their names on most of the race car.
Kevin Magnussen returns once again to the team, following a last-minute decision to have the Dane pilot for the team, following the dismissal last season of Nikita Mazepin. At that moment, Magnussen was ready to drive the new WEC Peugeot challenger, but Team Manager Guenter Steiner telephoned him, and Magnussen decided to join the American unit instead. It paid off, with Magnussen taking pole at the Brazilian Grand Prix and being presented with the Lorenzo Bandini trophy for his comeback season.
Joining him will be a veteran of former grands prix and a winner of the 24 Hours of Lemans, German driver Nico Hulkenberg, who for a couple of seasons was a reserve driver for Aston Martin, who for the first two races last season replaced Sebastian Vettel, who was out sick with Covid. Hulkenberg has never liked his Danish teammate, never stepped onto a podium and even following their conflict at the Hungaroring in 2017, are willing to work together for the 2023 season.
Haas finished eighth last year from the previous disaster of 2021, when they took the bottom of the constructor’s championship were willing to put all their efforts into the next season. It paid off, gaining two positions, but with the new sponsor, Steiner feels that they can spend enough money for the team to exceed to the budget cap limit set by the formula 1 rules.
"I obviously share everyone's enthusiasm around the livery unveil, not least as it's a checkpoint in the preseason calendar which means we're another step closer to doing the thing we actually 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.
It's an exciting time of year for Formula One 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.
We really have something to build on following last year's performances. The whole organization has been working hard to reach this point and obviously in Kevin (Magnussen) and Nico (Hulkenberg) we have two proven points-scoring talents locked in behind the wheel. I can't wait to get started."
The start for the team will begin with a shakedown of the car on the 11th of February at the Silverstone Circuit in England.
By Mark Gero