F1: Haas over-delivering in taking fight to Renault - Magnussen
By Chris Medland | RACER magazine and RACER.com F1 correspondent
Kevin Magnussen says Haas shouldn’t be fighting with Renault in the constructors’ championship, given the resources his former team has available.
Renault extended its lead over Haas to 30 points with strong results in the United States and Mexico, while an appeal into Romain Grosjean’s exclusion from the Italian Grand Prix also failed. With fourth place now looking unlikely for Haas, Magnussen says the team should still be proud of being able to compete with a Renault team that enjoys a bigger budget.
“[Fourth] is the ‘best-of-the-rest’, so there’s a lot of pride in it,” Magnussen said. “It’s a very tight battle in the midfield. We shouldn’t really be fighting Renault in Formula 1, because they have a lot more resources, a big factory and a lot more people involved. With what we’ve got, we use it a lot better than they do. That’s already something to be proud of.
“On average, we’ve been quicker than them this year so, of course, it’s disappointing to be behind them in the championship at this point. We just have to build from here. We’ve taken a step forward this year and we’ve proved that we can build a car that’s capable of best-of-the-rest.
“We just have to minimize the mistakes, score points and get the results we deserve to have more points regularly.”
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Haas looks comfortable in fifth place as sixth-placed McLaren sits 22 points adrift with two races remaining and has only scored four points in the last four rounds. As a result, Magnussen says the team’s focus remains on Renault despite an even bigger margin ahead.
“The midfield fight is still intense, although the gap to Renault has increased. We’re still really keen to try and catch up, and we’ll do everything we can to maximize our chances against them. Behind us in the championship we’ve got some breathing room. We know that things can turn around quickly. We want to score as many points as we can.”
Kevin Magnussen with Haas F1 Chief Race Engineer Ayao Komatsu. (Image by Andy Hone/LAT)
Grosjean also still has hopes of catching Renault, but regardless of the final result the Frenchman agreed with his teammate about what an impressive season Haas has had in what is only its third year in F1.
“We always look at the timesheet,” Grosjean said. “The battle is quite tight, quite good. We lost a bit of ground at our home grand prix and in Mexico, which is a shame. We’re trying to make up for it, and we’ll be giving it 100 percent.
“It’s got a big significance for us. Fourth or fifth would be a big achievement for Haas F1 in its third season of competition.”
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ABOUT CHRIS MEDLAND
While studying Sports Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire, Chris managed to talk his way into working at the British Grand Prix in 2008 and was retained for three years before joining ESPN F1 as Assistant Editor. After three years at ESPN, a spell as F1 Editor at Crash Media Group was followed by the major task of launching F1i.com’s English-language website and running it as Editor. Present at every race since the start of 2014, he has continued building his freelance portfolio, working with international titles. As well as writing for RACER, he contributes to BBC 5Live and Sky Sports in the UK as well as working with titles in Japan and the Middle East.