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Hulkenberg Magnussen Unity Drives Haas Forward

Hülkenberg & Magnussen: Unity Drives Haas Forward

07/03/2024

Amidst technical upgrades, Hülkenberg highlights the harmonious partnership with Magnussen as a key force propelling Haas’s positive start in Bahrain.

Nico Hülkenberg experienced a much more positive season start than anticipated in Bahrain. The Haas F1 driver reflects on this first race, driving a VF-24 that represents a significant improvement over its predecessor, notably in terms of tire degradation and race pace.

“It wasn’t very difficult either because the base was quite bad last year. But, yes, obviously, in Bahrain, we had all the tests. We had the race, so everyone is obviously very tuned in and optimized for Bahrain,” Hülkenberg stated. “I felt much better in the car.”

“I think you saw it in the race as well, even though I was quite far behind after that incident, which is very unfortunate. But yes, we have to wait a few more weekends, with different characteristics like here, at high speed, to see how much we’ve improved.”

The American team designed a more homogeneous and predictable car, but he believes development can drastically improve it. When asked whether Haas needs to progress, he leaves no choice for his team.

“We have to do it, whether we like it or not! That’s the impression you get, you know, that we’ve done a better job on the aerodynamic part. It’s more consistent, more predictable. It allows us to manage the tires better.”

“So I think it’s a step in the right direction. But again, like everyone here, we’re just at the beginning. We’ve only had one circuit, a specific circuit. So we have to wait and see what will happen in the next two.”

“No problems” with Magnussen

Hulkenberg Magnussen Unity Drives Haas Forward

Since last year, Hülkenberg has teamed up with Kevin Magnussen, with whom there had been some tensions in the past. The German praises their relationship, which is peaceful and constructive, and their willingness to help each other.

“It’s all gone well. It’s pretty positive. No problems, frictions, or anything, because many people might have expected that because of the story from five years ago. But it’s quite the opposite. We’ve really gotten along well and we work well together, I feel.”

“On the track, you know, there were some situations last year, you know, where we don’t even hold each other back when we know we have different tires, different strategies, and there’s not even a need for a radio call.”

“As far as settings and what we expect from the car, I think we’re also very aligned and working in the same direction. So, yes, very good, yes.”

Finally, Hülkenberg comments on Ayao Komatsu taking over the team in place of Günther Steiner and finds that the transition was quite logically very smooth: “Yes, it’s obvious he didn’t have to settle in or get to know the team.”

“But I think he’s fit well into his new role. He was thrown into the cold water, that’s for sure. Obviously, he has a lot of new responsibilities and has to do things that are new to him.”

“But so far, I think he’s doing a very good job considering all of that, looking for the fastest way to get performance, but also in the medium and long term. He has a lot of good, interesting ideas. So, yes, it’s quite refreshing and positive so far.”

Hülkenberg & Magnussen: Unity Drives Haas Forward. Hülkenberg & Magnussen: Unity Drives Haas Forward

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