Magnussen never felt Haas future was in doubt

Kevin Magnussen says he didn’t fear for his future at Haas thanks to team principal Guenther Steiner’s honesty, following the announcement of a contract extension at the Dutch Grand Prix.

Haas announced Thursday it has opted to retain its current lineup of Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg into 2024, activating clauses in both drivers’ contracts to secure their services for a further season. Magnussen has been outqualified by Hulkenberg on nine occasions in 12 races so far this year, but despite only having two points compared to his team-mate’s nine, he was always confident he’d be staying.

“Not really (concerned), I know what I’m dealing with,” Magnussen said. “I’m old enough now and experienced enough to know where I’m at and what’s going on. The risks involved in this I’m aware of, and I’ve been through most of it at least. So with experience comes an ability to stay calm and you don’t get affected so much by different things that maybe in the past used to affect me more.


“I always want to do a better job no matter what. There’s always stuff that I feel I can improve, and this year I don’t think I as a driver am the sole reason we haven’t scored as many points as we wanted to. I think we all realize the car isn’t as strong as we’d hoped it would be, and I think a big strength in the team is that we’ve got two mature and patient drivers who are not patient enough to wait around for years to get a good car.

“We want to improve and we want to drive the team forward but we’re also experienced enough to be able to stay calm and stay positive and stay constructive in the critique that we’re giving to the team.”

Magnussen says Steiner’s approach helped him feel secure about this future, given how blunt the Haas team principal can be.

“Guenther’s always very open, very honest, you feel some sort of security with him always … Honesty is a security, even though he tells you that you’re a d•••head and that you can eff off… So I think that’s something I appreciate a lot — not being called a d•••head of course! Just the fact that he’s so honest and you can trust him, and I find that a very good quality in him.

“Guenther’s been quite open about his thinking. But of course I know Formula 1, nothing’s certain until you have it on paper — and not even then sometimes! It’s nice, basically before the summer break I knew, so it’s not a surprise.”

Steiner says he didn’t approach any other drivers, because he feels Haas could not secure a better lineup than it currently has.

“It was pretty straightforward — for a few months I was saying I think we’re pretty good, that’s what I meant,” Steiner said. “Nico, at the start of the year we didn’t do a two-year contract because we didn’t know how he comes back. But he came back very strong.

“Kevin, he would tell you himself he’s not happy with his performance in qualifying at the moment, but he’s just struggled with the consistency of the car. He doesn’t know what it will do corner to corner.

“I think we have got the best driver pairing we can get at the moment with our financials and with our attractiveness of car. I never actually spoke to anyone else.”

Story originally appeared on Racer