Why Haas have stopped putting ‘lipstick on a pig’

Haas have endured a mixed season in 2023, but it is nevertheless a marked improvement on prior campaigns.

Haas have finally completed a huge upgrade, which has been in the works for over a year.

It was contemplated by the American team during pre-season testing in 2022 that the side needed to upgrade their garage, something they did ahead of the recent Asian double-header.

Haas introduced a new garage layout at the Singapore Grand Prix and then used it again at the Japanese Grand Prix, with their consoles now being found in the middle of the garage, where an engineering island can be found.

The upgrades were overseen by race team operations leader Peter Wright, team manager Peter Crolla, senior indirect buyer Sam O’Gorman and director of marketing Mark Morrell, and reportedly cost Haas a seven-figure sum.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Remarkably, it’s the first time since the team joined F1 in 2015 that they’ve upgraded their garage, with team principal Guenther Steiner having admitted that it was getting to a point where it was like putting “lipstick on a pig”.

Steiner noted that it was about time Haas upgraded their garage, with it having been in need of change.

“It was the same one from the beginning,” Steiner told The Race.

“But if you look at the garages, there is not a lot of evolution anymore. People normally keep it for five, six years.

Article continues below

“Then they just get tired, you need to repair them, you need to paint them every year.

“At some stage, you just need to change it.”

The upgrade has made Haas’ garage look more similar to the rest of the paddock, with it being a case of “monkey see, monkey do”.

Steiner insists he’s usually against following trends, but that he was all for the upgraded garage if it means the team’s on-track performance improved.

“In F1, some things go by trend,” Steiner said. “It’s like monkey see, monkey do. ‘Everybody else did that, so I need to do it as well.’

READ: Why Mercedes are alarmed by Ferrari

“I’m normally against it. I don’t really care where the consoles are as long as they work, because for me it’s more the efficiency – if you pay for it in a year or two, you see it’s an investment.

“I don’t want to be the trendiest guy [if] it doesn’t make us quicker.”

Whilst Haas have upgraded their garage, they still have a major car development to introduce before the end of the season, something which could see them take the fight to Williams for P7.