Nico Hulkenberg's dissatisfaction with Haas F1's lackluster performance reached a boiling point during the 2023 Italian Grand Prix, where he could only muster a 17th-place finish.
This disappointing result came mere weeks after the driver inked a contract extension with the American outfit.
Nico Hulkenberg's struggles at the Italian GP were indicative of the wider issues that have plagued Haas throughout the season. His teammate Kevin Magnussen finished just behind him in 18th place, cementing a dismal weekend for the team.
Their inability to secure any championship points further extended the team's already lengthy pointless streak and Hulkenberg did not mince words while talking about the VF-23.
The fundamental issue at the heart of Haas F1's troubles is their subpar development pace that has left them trailing behind their rivals. While Haas currently occupies the eighth position in the Constructors' Championship standings, the team's limitations have become increasingly apparent as the season has progressed.
Unlike some of their competitors such as McLaren, Aston Martin, and even Williams, Haas has failed to demonstrate meaningful progression over the past year. Instead, the team's performance has consistently dipped, turning their mid-season slump into an annual occurrence in the world of Formula 1.
A glaring example of Haas's struggles was their failure to bring specific rear wings to the high-speed Monza circuit, a standard practice in Formula 1. This omission is a painful reminder of where they stand in the pecking order, as they were the only team to overlook this crucial aerodynamic component.
Nico Hulkenberg did not hold back while expressing his frustration after crossing the chequered flag at Monza. He candidly stated (via Formu1a.uno):
"We are terribly bad compared to the competition. We are the only team that didn't bring anything with us to Monza. We’re not worthy of points here, and we are from it… We have to accept that now."
Nico Hulkenberg does not expect any "bright patches"
Hulkenberg's assessment was brutally honest as he acknowledged that Haas was not worthy of securing any points in their current state. Hulkenberg added:
"Anyone who does so little can't expect much. We have to accept that now. In 14 days, we'll continue on a track that maybe suits us a little better. I don't expect any huge bright patches." (via Formu1a.uno)
Guenther Steiner, Haas F1's Team Principal, had earlier said in 2023 that the team was preparing a robust development plan to address their traditional mid-season struggles. However, the lackluster performances from Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen at Monza have cast doubts on the effectiveness of those plans.
As the F1 season progresses, Haas F1 faces an uphill battle to salvage its competitiveness.