Magnussen feels it will be difficult for Haas to beat Renault for fourth
Haas' F1 Team's Kevin Magnussen reckons it will be difficult now for them to beat Renault for fourth in the 2018 season.
With the struggles for Racing Point Force India in the first part of the season, it became certain that they will not be able to retain their fourth position for the third successive time, thereby allowing the likes of Renault and Haas to fight for the place.
The French manufacturer held the fourth position for the major part of the 2018 season with some consistent performances, while the American outfit had some misfortunes and lost chunk of points as a result.
It tried to catch up midway in the season and in fact went past Renault in the standings at Monza - despite both being on same points, but it all went downhill for Haas since then especially with the protest for an illegal floor.
Romain Grosjean was disqualified as he lost eight valuable points. Haas challenged the decision of the stewards but it was upheld by the FIA International Court of Appeal which put the team in the backfoot pretty much.
Along with those lost points, the team had some difficult races in the second half while Renault scored handy points to bridge the gap as it stands at 30 with two races to go, something which Magnussen has admitted that it will be hard to beat.
"It has been a pretty good year, I think [overall]," he said to the media in Brazil. "It has shown that we are making progress with the team, year by year, and I think our aim should be to keep that up in the next season.
"I think this year it looks like we’re probably going to finish fifth in the Constructors unless we get some very good weekends in the next two weekends. That leaves us at least one realistic target for next year, to take another step forward.
"I think this year we’ve had a very fast car. We haven’t always scored the points that we should have for different reasons but the good thing about that is that we can go into next season and know that we can do better, because the performance is there."
Team principal Guenther Steiner wasn't overly happy with Renault's decision to protest for their illegal floor but adds he doesn't want to dwell on it anymore. He feels flattered that only in their third season, they are able to challenge a factory team in this manner.
Meanwhile, Magnussen had no answers for Haas' lack of performance in Mexico where the team just couldn't work the tyres like many other teams. "I think we understand that it’s probably to do with tyres as we hadn’t changed the car," he said.
"So, the only thing that really can be such a big factor is the tyres and I think in Mexico you have these factors like you have very little downforce because of the altitude and that has a lot of knock-on effects on different things so cooling as well and you run the car in a different window in Mexico.
"I think we got the tyre performance a little bit wrong so we suffered a lot in Mexico and that was a weekend to forget, definitely, but also at the same time we of course are trying to learn from it because last year and the year before the team also had a bad weekend in Mexico, so hopefully next year we can learn a bit more and get there a little bit more prepared, to not have such a big off weekend."