“I hope in the future we will see even a better Kevin,” Guenther Steiner discusses the ups and downs of Haas’ and a ‘matured’ Kevin Magnussen’s season


“I hope in the future we will see even a better Kevin,” Guenther Steiner discusses the ups and downs of Haas’ and a ‘matured’ Kevin Magnussen’s season

Kevin Magnussen and Guenther Steiner celebrating the former's pole position at the São Paulo Grand Prix (IMAGO / Motorsport Images)

After a year on the sidelines, Kevin Magnussen, rather surprisingly, returned to Formula 1 in 2022, replacing the ousted Nikita Mazepin at Haas. Right from the first race, he was firing on all cylinders, scoring a very impressive P5 finish in the season opener in Bahrain, and then scoring points in 2 of the next three races as well.

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Then there was a small dry period for him until Silverstone and Austria, where Haas scored double points finishes. But after that, it was slim pickings for most of the season, and the team only scored a total of 3 points after the summer break, with all of them coming from Magnussen – a P9 at the Japanese GP and a pole and P8 finish in the sprint at the Sao Paulo GP.

Haas’ fortunes were rather inconsistent throughout the year, much like the Danish driver’s own. Discussing Magnussen’s sensational start and a small period full of struggles, Haas’ team principal Guenther Steiner said as per Formula1.com: “I think when he came back in, he scored points [at the first race], he had the team behind him. Then I would say, just after the summer break, he struggled a little bit and we don’t really know why.”

The team scored the vast majority of their points in two clusters throughout the year, with not much going for them in the rest. Steiner thinks they need to analyze why they had ‘so many ups and downs’: “But then he came back, so it’s just a little bit that we need to get the ups and downs out of the team. I wouldn’t say only of Kevin, you know. We need to analyse why we have so many ups and downs, and we did some of this job.”

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Also Read: ‘We had a very strong first half of the year,’ Kevin Magnussen reflects on his Formula 1 return with Haas

Guenther Steiner: Kevin Magnussen handles the schedule ‘well’ now

Guenther Steiner (L) and Kevin Magnussen (R)
Guenther Steiner (L) and Kevin Magnussen (R)

Haas’ car for next year is branded the VF-23, and will be driven by Kevin Magnussen and a returning Nico Hulkenberg. It’s the first car for the next season that has passed FIA homologation, which could be taken as a good sign. Another thing the tea, have going for them is their partnership with Moneygram, which Guenther Steiner says will actually allow them to reach the budget cap.

It’s fair to say that the team were very up and down in 2022, and Steiner hopes they can improve this next season: “Hopefully next year we can come back more stable, you know, that you have got a good performance most of the time. You always have got a bad event or something, but we just need to stabilise everything.”

Steiner thinks Magnussen is now a lot more calmer, and hopes that his race Mark Slade will help him improve even more: “I mean, he’s just matured, you know, by getting older. We all get calmer and see things sometimes a little bit differently. He’s most of the time very relaxed about things, and now with the combination of Mark with him, I hope in the future we will see even a better Kevin.”

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Haas definitely made a step forward in 2022: they had scored no points at all the previous year. And with the Ferrari engine apparently being a ‘bomb’, it only spells good things for them – especially if the reliability issues are gone. It’ll be interesting to see if their upward trend continues in 2022.

Also Read: “We can look at it as a year of growth,” Guenther Steiner looks back at Haas F1 team’s most glorious season so far

Also Read: “I expect we will have a good relationship,” Nico Hulkenberg on partnering up with Kevin Magnussen at Haas F1 for 2023