Kevin Magnussen has been confirmed at Haas for 2017 and 2018 and just before he dashed off to the F1 drivers’ briefing at Interlagos, JA on F1 and a few other media outlets were able to grab a quick word with him.
It was literally three minutes, but his happiness at finally pinning down a more permanent place on the F1 grid was clear, after a single season with McLaren and another with Renault.
And the Dane believes that Haas’ unique structure and business model, with a strong technical partnership with Ferrari, means that it could buck the trend of new teams struggling in their second season.
The Haas team has been up and down what has been the attraction of going there?
“I don’t think they are the only team that has been up and down. Maybe two or three teams have achieved stability over the season, that’s not really a problem. I mean, it is a problem but not unusual in this part of the grid.
“They have been very impressive; this is not a team that has taken over another team. It’s a new team and they have been outright points scoring. So that’s impressive, it’s exciting. It has perhaps a little bit different structure from other teams.
“It feels good. I’m looking forward to it.”
History shows that new teams tend to struggle in their second season. Is that why getting an multi year contract was important to you as next year could be tough?
“No, I haven’t thought about it like that. Perhaps history shows that, but if anyone can do it and change that, it’s probably Haas.”
Because of their model?
“Because of the group of people they have and the way they do things; it’s a little bit different to others. I think they can be strong on a consistent basis.”
Jolyon Palmer said you’ve made a mistake to leave a works team
“He should be happy that I left.
How will you feel if they are ahead of Haas next season?
“I would mind. But I think we have a decent chance to challenge. I believe they will keep up this level in future and perhaps even improve, that’s the goal. It’s not an easy target, but we will try.
How do you get on with Romain Grosjean?
“I haven’t talked to him much but he’s a good driver, well respected, so I’m looking forward to working with him.”