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Magnussen Shows Team Spirit in Haas F1 Strategy Shift

Magnussen Shows Team Spirit in Haas F1 Strategy Shift

27/03/2024

Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen exemplifies team spirit by swapping positions with Nico Hülkenberg, showcasing resilience and adaptability despite a strategy setback.

Haas F1 Team Principal, Ayao Komatsu, has praised Kevin Magnussen’s team spirit for agreeing to swap positions with Nico Hülkenberg, despite Magnussen’s disadvantageous strategy largely stemming from a botched team pit stop.

“In Kevin’s first pit stop sequence, we lost two positions,” Komatsu stated. “That shouldn’t have happened. But beyond that, everything else was fantastic.”

“The pit stops were incredible, then the drivers worked together again during the second stint, with Kev on the hard tire and Nico on the medium due to the VSC. Again, Nico had a better pace.”

“However, Kevin’s strategy was already compromised, not through any fault of his own but due to the team. Kevin had every right to be upset, yet when we asked him to switch positions, he did so immediately. He understands how important these opportunities are. So, it was perfect.”

An “Encouraging” Season Start

The engineer outlines why Haas is improving and what makes the VF-24 perform better in races: “The car has a larger operating window, it doesn’t necessarily have more downforce.”

“It just has more usable downforce and is now good in more than one condition. Last year, new tires and low fuel were okay, but we really struggled in the race.”

“The team therefore focused in this direction over the winter, and it’s really cool to see it paying off. I don’t think we can say the entire season is sorted, but it’s encouraging so far, and we want to continue.”

Komatsu laments the team’s poor reactions on track to competitors’ decisions: “[Alex] Albon pitted. He was already ahead of us. So, we shouldn’t have pitted the next lap. But we did.”

“We thus let Albon overtake us, for no reason. Then, if you look at Esteban Ocon, he went further in his first stint and basically overtook us. So, we lost two positions. That’s not right. We can’t continue making these kinds of mistakes when the midfield is so tight.”

“Tsunoda had a better pace” than Haas

Komatsu would have liked Haas to be the best of the mid-pack teams in Melbourne but commends the work done by RB F1, and especially Yuki Tsunoda: “I think Tsunoda had a better pace than us.”

“But again, if we had gotten our first pit stop sequence right, and then with the pace we had on the second stint, I think we could have fought with him much, much closer.”

“But first, we need to get into that position. But you know, all credit to Tsunoda, I think his pace was good. But I think if we had done a perfect job with Kevin, Kevin had the chance to fight with him till the end. That’s what we should do.”

However, despite the good performances of his drivers, he’s unsure if he will extend them into 2025: “I haven’t thought about it yet. I know the driver market is very open. I’ll have to think about it very quickly.”

“But for now, until we get through the first four or five races, I’m fully focused on the team’s work. And honestly, I take my hat off to Kevin today. It’s an incredible team play. Truly incredible.”

Magnussen Shows Team Spirit in Haas F1 Strategy Shift. Magnussen Shows Team Spirit in Haas F1 Strategy Shift

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