Kevin Magnussen is looking forward to a second season with the Haas Formula One team. This will be the first time that the Dane has stayed with a single team for consecutive seasons after never really finding his place at McLaren or Renault. He has praised the American team for its refreshing approach towards its drivers, telling Autosport that:
“I’ve been able to let go of the pressure of being a Formula 1 driver a bit and just enjoy racing, enjoy those cars and enjoy the races more. I’m still focused and I’m still working hard; it’s just more enjoyable and less negative pressure.
It’s always easier when you’re having fun, that’s for sure. I am having fun here; I enjoy working with these guys, and I like the way the team is operating and the mentality within the team.”
Haas’ second season in F1 didn’t quite reach the heights of their debut year which saw a handful of top six finishes and served as a campaign in which the team firmly established itself as a key player in the midfield rather than a new squad just there to make up the numbers, something we have been accustomed to with other new teams in recent years.
2017 saw Haas finish ahead of Sauber and McLaren in the constructors’ title; they remained in contention with Toro Rosso and Renault until the final checkered flag, but ultimately fell short due to a combination of recurring brake problems and a weaker one-lap pace that made for some very poor qualifying sessions.
But one area in which the team is flourishing is clearly their management of drivers, a factor that isn’t to be scoffed at considering how often divisions and rifts within Formula 1 teams can spell difficulties and even jeopardy on-track.
Magnussen clearly feels at home with Haas and looks like settling after years of dwindling in scapegoat territory with other teams. He added:
“Everyone here is here to go racing. There’s no BS or any commercial stuff. It’s very uncommercial, a real race team. It’s kind of going racing in Formula 1 with an F3 team.
It’s very straightforward. You just go and speak to [Haas]. They’re all there in the debriefing, they don’t have to speak to any sponsors or anything, they’re in the office with us – a part of everything. I really enjoy working as a team, as a whole, not just working with the engineers and mechanics. It’s really one team.”
You tell ‘em K-Mag! It sounds like Haas operates like a millennial new media house. They probably also have “offline” meetings, bring your quinoa salad to work days, a yoga instructor every other Wednesday and a post-session vintage games room too. What a joyous time to be a Formula 1 driver.