Kevin Magnussen has had a stop-start Formula One career so far with single season stints at McLaren and Renault, but the Dane has already claimed that his new team feels like a better fit than the rest.
The impression left with Renault after the 2016 season was that they were happy to let Magnussen and Palmer do the donkey work. They would then look to bring in a driver with a more substantial record for a fully fledged assault on the championship in 2017.
Magnussen has moved to Haas probably with the intentions to secure a long-term drive after being dropped by McLaren after a single season and then getting an indecisive environment at Renault. He revealed that Haas are the right team for him and the environment will allow him to focus on his driving.
“Haas is a completely different team than both McLaren and Renault.And it suits me much better. I feel like I’ve been unlucky in F1 so far to be with two teams where the leadership was unclear. But Haas has a much straightforward management structure.
Guenther Steiner runs the team and Gene Haas is the owner: they’re both real racers who are in Formula One because they love the sport, not because they want to raise their profile or make a lot of money.
That fits me really well, because I’m exactly the same. Haas relies less on sponsors compared to Renault, and I’m quite happy with that. Promotional work can take your focus away from racing, and it also takes time that could be spent on training instead.
Unfortunately, motor racing has become a sport where the driver’s fitness and wellbeing are not considered particularly highly. It is just assumed that we are in top form, but how can we stay in shape if we don’t have enough time to train?”
– Kevin Magnussen
The Danish driver scored a single podium and 55-points in his campaign with McLaren in 2014, finishing the season 11th in the driver standings. Last season with Renault, his effort in a difficult car was only rewarded with 7-points and 16th overall in the standings. With an impressive debut season behind Haas, the American team must now set its sights higher. Magnussen has to do more than just drive better than Gutierrez, who was axed for ending the season without points.
Haas have found a driver with the mettle to thrive in midfield scraps, but for the first time the Danish driver appears to be very settled, which will surely only see his results improve if Haas can deliver a competitive package.