Re-signing Magnussen not ’sentimental’ - boss
"Kevin isn’t going through the best phase of his career right now"
Haas still has faith in Kevin Magnussen despite the Danish driver’s current slump.
The small American outfit surprised some observers by recently re-signing the 30-year-old team veteran even though he has been humbled by the older F1 returnee Nico Hulkenberg so far in 2023.
But boss Gunther Steiner says Haas still believes in Magnussen.
"It wasn’t for sentimental reasons that we kept him," he said at Monza.
"Kevin isn’t going through the best phase of his career right now, but our performance isn’t the best either and we know that he doesn’t have any confidence in the car at the moment."
Indeed, Haas acknowledges that while Hulkenberg has often been able to shine over one-lap this year, the car burns through its tyres at an excessive rate in the race.
Magnussen, though, qualified second-to-last at Monza - a full six places behind German Hulkenberg.
"I am only two tenths behind Nico," he insisted, "and he is very happy with the car.
"I think I’m making progress and not that far behind. In fact, I’ve been ahead most of the time in practice," Magnussen is quoted by Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
Steiner acknowledges that Magnussen is capable of getting over his current F1 slump.
"Also, a driver change would not make us any better at the moment," he said. "Obviously Nico is doing a fantastic job and we are blown away by his performance.
"But as soon as we get the car a little more to Kevin’s liking, he’ll get going again. That’s why we kept him, because we continue to believe in him."