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Haas F1 Qualifying Gap 2024

Haas F1’s Komatsu: Magnussen’s Pace “Not Acceptable”

06/03/2024

Haas F1 Team’s new boss highlights the unacceptable gap between Magnussen and Hülkenberg’s qualifying performance, signaling urgent improvements needed.

It is “not acceptable” for Kevin Magnussen to be so far behind his teammate Nico Hülkenberg during qualifying, warned the new boss of Haas F1 Team.

Over the winter, Gene Haas, owner of the struggling small American team, ousted long-time team principal Gunther Steiner, replacing him with engineer Ayao Komatsu.

But a major concern for Haas F1 was undoubtedly addressing last year’s car’s fundamental flaw: excessive tire wear over long stints.

In Bahrain, it became clear that Haas F1 had made significant progress in this area. Equally apparent was the vast gap between Hülkenberg’s qualifying pace – good enough for Q3 – and that of his teammate Magnussen.

The gap between them was seven-tenths!

“That’s too much and it’s not acceptable,” Komatsu stated.

“For qualifying, you need a strong front end. Then, you can push the car to the limit.”

“When it comes to fine-tuning the car, Nico is really good at that. And Nico is really very good at maximizing it, balancing on a knife-edge.”

“Kevin, on the other hand, needs a certain balance in the car,” added the Japanese. “In qualifying, to achieve certain things, he sacrificed what he fundamentally needed in the corners, so he couldn’t put in a good lap. But we’ve learned from that.”

“Honestly, it’s just Kevin’s driving style. We know that. We know how to fix it. And we’ll do better in Jeddah.”

Komatsu clarified that he was not criticizing Magnussen’s talent or skills per se.

“He is very talented,” he said. “It’s just small margins, which suddenly became seven-tenths in Q2. That’s not acceptable, neither from his side nor from ours.”

“We’ll do better.”

Haas F1 Qualifying Gap 2024. Haas F1 Qualifying Gap 2024.

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