2024 Haas F1 drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg

Formula 1 News: Magnussen admits he must up his pace

(GMM) Kevin Magnussen admits he needs to up his game relative to Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg or risk losing his ride after 2024.

After Bahrain, but also the 2023 season in which Hulkenberg was consistently quicker over a single lap, new Haas boss Ayao Komatsu said Magnussen lagging 7 tenths off the pace of the sister car was “not acceptable”.

Komatsu insists the problem is Magnussen’s “driving style” rather than his “talent”, but the Danish driver freely admits that it’s up to him to adapt.

“This is an area where I need to make progress,” Magnussen told Ekstra Bladet newspaper in Jeddah. “Getting that one lap out of the car.

“On the other side, it’s going really well under race conditions, so I don’t want to lose anything there either. But my driving style and how I set up the car is probably better suited to racing.

“But I don’t want to be so close to being eliminated in Q1 when I know that the car is capable of more. I just think I had the wrong balance on the front wing in Bahrain, which is an easy fix,” he added.

On the much brighter side, Haas has made clear progress with its ‘long run’ pace with the new 2024 car, after last year’s version burned through tires at an alarming rate.

“It was a huge relief not to be handicapped compared to those I was racing against,” Magnussen said. “I feel like we’re now equal both in terms of strategic options and tire life, and that’s a huge relief.

“It means we can do some overtaking and it actually means something. Last year you could try to do something to get ahead, but you knew it wouldn’t make much of a difference. So it’s made the racing more fun and rewarding.”

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