After enduring a point-less 2021 when it opted against developing its car, Haas immediately enjoyed an upswing last year under the new technical regulations. Magnussen finished fifth in the Bahrain season-opener, and would establish himself as a regular points-scorer in the early part of the year.
Although Haas’s form would ultimately tail off, causing it to slip to eighth place in the constructors’ championship, Magnussen did pull off a shock result by scoring the team’s maiden pole in Brazil.
It marked a successful return to Haas for Magnussen, who had been dropped at the end of 2020 before returning last year after Nikita Mazepin’s contract was terminated in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Asked by Motorsport.com if he noticed any differences in Haas between leaving and returning, Magnussen said: “It still feels like the same team, but it’s a very dynamic thing.
“A lot of different things happened within the team. I think it’s just been a very good year to kind of restart Haas. We’ve got back into midfield contention, got our pole position.
“Hopefully that can give a big boost to the whole team and really seal the belief that we are back in the game and that we have a bright future.”
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team
Photo by: Michael Potts / Motorsport Images
2023 will see further change at Haas as F1 veteran Nico Hulkenberg arrives as Magnussen’s new team-mate, replacing Mick Schumacher, who was dropped after two seasons. It will give Haas one of the most experience line-ups on the grid, a far cry from its all-rookie line-up in 2021.
The team has also secured a fresh financial boost in the form of its new title sponsor, MoneyGram, which will allow it to operate close to the budget cap.
Magnussen felt there were “some good things going our way” at Haas, but that it would take time for the team to settle after a rollercoaster couple of years.
“The team has been through a couple of tough years where some people left and we got new people in,” said Magnussen.
“This group needs to settle, because when you get new people in, although they are super-talented and very capable, it still needs time to settle. I think that’s also been part of the process this year, to set the team and then have that settle in.
“That is going to be happening. It’s already happened to a certain extent, and it’s going to happen over the winter.
“But yeah, we brought one upgrade [in 2022]. So hopefully there can be more attempts from our aero guys to put performance on the car, and then we’re going to grow in different areas, everything we do here at the track, strategy, operational-wise, pit stops.
“A lot of things have room for improvement.”