Magnussen not a “holy cow” who doesn’t share Haas F1 struggles

Haas finished 10th in the 2023 constructors’ championship after a difficult season that saw Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg occasionally shine in qualifying but lack consistent race pace, mainly due to overheating tyres.

Magnussen logged only three 10th places over the course of the season, earning 19th in the final classification.

A new aerodynamic package was introduced for the US Grand Prix in Austin, but it didn’t improve the team’s form.

For the last two races in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi the drivers raced split packages, with Magnussen sticking with the new version, and Hulkenberg reverting to the original.

Despite his frustrating year, Magnussen said he didn’t want to criticise the team in the media.

“I don’t think it helps the team to sell them cheap to you guys,” he said.

“I think it’s a team sport. We’re all involved. We’re all responsible, and I don’t want to stand here like some holy cow, I’m a part of this problem if you want I guess, as is every team member in Haas.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, in the garage

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, in the garage

“And we need to stick together and come back like we have done in the past. This team has shown great potential for a long time, and it’s about time we hit our marks on a consistent basis, because I think the talent and the potential in this team is very big.

“So I want to be there to push it forward and show what we can do.” 

Magnussen says he knew early on that the 2023 car might not be good enough, citing similar feelings that he experienced four years earlier.

“Particularly because I was here in 2019 with the team, when we were in a very similar position, I probably sounded the alarm bell a little early,” he said.

“Earlier than many others, because I drove that ’19 car.

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“But still even though the symptoms are the same, it’s not a given that the cause is the same because it’s a very different type of car, this ground effect car that produces its downforce in a very different way to what we had in ’19. So we can’t really compare.” 

Asked if there were positives to be drawn from the team’s difficult 2023 season, he said: “I guess as always, there’s many things that you learn when it’s this tough, that you wouldn’t have learned if it was smooth sailing.

“It’s character-building, and it’s strengthening. You get resilient, we build up resilience to hard times.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23

“And it’s not something I enjoy, I haven’t enjoyed this year too much, but there’s always another day to fight. And next year is another big opportunity for us.” 

Magnussen said that he supported to decision to split the specs in the latter races, as it gave the team useful knowledge.

“I think we’ve learned, it was good to get some track information from this type of car,” he said.

“Although it wasn’t better, I think it was good that we ran the two cars next to each other for a couple of races.

“I would have liked maybe just one race for that, and then go back to the old one. But that logistically wasn’t possible.

“So I guess I took one for the team [in Abu Dhabi]. But happy to do that, and look forward to next year.” 

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