(L to R): Kevin Magnussen, Haas; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

Haas must aim to “take a big step like Aston Martin” – Magnussen

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: Kevin Magnussen wants Haas to mimic Aston Martin’s vault to the front of the field.

Become a RaceFans Supporter and go ad-free

RaceFans operates thanks in part to the support of its readers. In order to help fund the development and growth of the site please consider becoming a RaceFans Supporter.

For just £1 per month/£12 per year you will also be upgraded to an ad-free account. Sign up and find out more below:

In brief

Aston Martin gains surprised Magnussen

Haas finished eighth in the constructors’ championship last year, one place behind Aston Martin. However they have seen their rivals take a leap forward this year, while Haas remains in the thick of an increasingly close midfield fight.

“Every year we talk about how close it is this year and certainly this year it’s taken a big step again towards being more close,” said Magnussen. “So I think it’s not going to be the case that you get to the first race with a car and you see where you are and you stay there the whole year and every race you know you’re fighting for P8 or P9 or whatever.

“This year you’ve got to get everything right to get that the P8 or P7 or whatever is the ‘best of the rest’. There’s one of the midfield teams that’s moved up close to the top and it’s a different grid this year. I think that was what surprised me a little bit.”

Magnussen said Haas made the gains they expected during the off-season but need to target more to catch up with the likes of Aston Martin.

“We knew we were going to take a step with the car this year and we were confident about that and it shows on the track,” said Magnussen. “We do have that performance that we were hoping for. Other teams have just done a really good job, too. So we’re still in that mix of the midfield.

“Of course, we would love to be towards the top, taking a big step like Aston Martin. But that’s what we’ve got to aim to do in the future.”

Mercedes’ Imola update a “first step”

Mercedes say the major upgrade package they will bring to next week’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will be the “first step” in transforming the W14 into a competitive package.

“It takes quite a long time to develop in the wind tunnel and you can’t just do these things overnight,” said the team’s trackside operations director Andrew Shovlin. “The Imola package are the first steps in that direction. We are hoping to bring other updates later in the year.

“We do hope that it is quicker, we hope that it’s better in terms of qualifying and race pace. The key thing though is that we are not just looking to bring a lap time update, we are looking to head off in a different development direction. One that we think gives us a better chance in the long term of being able to challenge for race wins and world championships.”

Ericsson was “pretty broken” after losing F1 drive

Marcus Ericsson said he felt he never managed to get his F1 career going, as he lost his drive after five seasons in the series. He described the moment he learned he had lost his place on the Formula 1 grid at the end of 2018. With his Sauber team mate Charles Leclerc heading to Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen’s arrival in his place meant an end to Ericsson’s time at the team:

“I knew the other seat that Charles had was going to be a Ferrari junior or a Ferrari driver in that,” he told David Land. “So Kimi got signed in sort of ‘my’ seat and then I knew this is it, that’s over. But in a way I never really got my F1 career to sort of get going. At that time I was pretty broken down in my confidence levels and everything. I had a tough time.”

Ericsson admitted “in some ways it was disappointing, of course, but at the same way, I also felt it’s a chance for me to do something else and really find some new motivation.”

He eventually moved to IndyCar with Schmidt Peterson and now drives for Ganassi. “The same day I got the information that I was going to get replaced, I called my manager and I told him we need to look at America, we need to look at IndyCar, that’s where I want to go,” said Ericsson.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Pirelli needs its own car for Formula 1 tyre development, says MichaelN:

They had that old Toyota way back when, but I haven’t seen anything like it in years. Pirelli doesn’t have to make a competitive F1 car (it’s hard enough for nine teams) but, crucially, they are not constrained by the regulations either.

They can make something that matches the figures coming out of a Red Bull by ‘cheating’ their way to that performance. Back in 2021, teams bolted on all kinds of gadgets to mimic 2022 downforce levels. The tricky part is probably finding a PU.

Join in this weekend’s Caption Competition here:

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Hyoko and Jen Campbell!

On this day in motorsport

  • 35 years ago today Ayrton Senna put his McLaren on pole position at Monaco by a phenomenal 1.427 seconds ahead of team mate Alain Prost

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “Haas must aim to “take a big step like Aston Martin” – Magnussen”

  1. I somehow doubt Haas could make such a gain, but not impossible in the longer term.

    I like COTD’s second paragraph.

  2. Haas is still buying the majority of what they use of the shelve i believe? Dont expect them to suddenly be amazing

    1. Lmao… Haas doesn’t have their own designers, engineers or facilities. Maybe Kmag needs to do some research in to the amount of funds Papa Stroll has pumped in to Aston Martin’s infrastructure before all this wishful thinking.

  3. A top tip for Daniel Sargeant here.

    If you ever need a getaway driver … don’t pick your son!

    Unless you plan to avoid prosecution due to being in Hospital ;)

    1. Ahah, that’s a good one!

  4. I hope Théo Pourchaire gets into F1, he’s a lot of fun.

  5. I remember this. Wow!!! 1.427 seconds is an eternity.

    “Ayrton Senna put his McLaren on pole position at Monaco by a phenomenal 1.427 seconds ahead of team mate Alain Prost”

    1. Imagine if Lewis and Max were teammates and one put 1.4s over the other in a problem free dry Q session. It would explode our minds.

      1. Yes, there’s no way this would happen nowadays, a thing we need to consider is senna was a qualifying ace, prost wasn’t, the best driver who wasn’t that impressive in quali that I can think of in the modern era is probably alonso, and would have to put him with leclerc, who I consider the best qualifier of the modern era, but even then the gap would never be this large, nowadays driver can no longer do “magic” performances like those.

      2. drivers*

  6. It’s one thing to wish for a massive leap like that and another one to actually try and achieve it. Haas doesn’t have the resources, you never hear them talk about investment, or hiring the clever people in the paddock. Aston certainly did over the past few years. It could work or not but at least they took the initiative.

    Haas never, ever developed a car properly during the season. Every time they start well, they collapse as the others catch up later in the year…

    1. True… but equally I never recall them havimng brought in uphgardes at all this early in teh season. they already have had a new wing and more impressively a new floor.

    2. It would seem the real trick, as stated, the hiring of very clever people. Something Hass and others seem to have missed.
      Aston Martin did not (likely) “develop” the jump they made this year. It was engineered clever people. Either with original ideas or from experience gained elsewhere. A combination of both I am sure.
      What is especially intriguing is how Alonso keeps gushing about how great the car is to drive.
      The results would show that he is right and someone really did nail the design.

Comments are closed.