Kevin Magnussen says Haas were not really racing with the competition in Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which he finished almost 40 seconds behind their nearest rival.Pietro Fittipaldi behind him, Magnussen said the team didn’t expect to be competitive in the final race of the year.
“We weren’t actually really taking part in the race,” he said. “We were just sort of driving around. We had no expectations for the race. We did what we could.”
Bot Haas drivers’ lap times dropped off towards the end of the race, prompting them to make extra pit stops. Magnussen took the chequered flag nearly 40 seconds behind the next car, which belonged to Nicholas Latifi.
After Magnussen thanked the team on the radio for their four years together, team principal Guenther Steiner replied saying: “Kevin, thanks for the last four years. You did a great job.”
“Sorry that this race we couldn’t do any better,” Steiner continued, “but please don’t judge us on this one, you know we are better than this, we just have a tool which doesn’t work. You have to drive it out there and I’m not jealous about that one, I tell you.”
Magnussen will race for Ganassi’s IMSA sports car team next year. He said he is eager to get back to competitive racing after two fruitless seasons with Haas, during which time they slipped to the back of the F1 field.
“To be honest, the last couple of years – not the last four years, but the last couple of years – have been pretty tricky,” he said.
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“I’m a racing driver that likes to win. And I know every racing driver wants to win but I really, really want to win and we haven’t been even remotely close to being in any sort of situation to win races in the last two years and even four years.
“So I’m not really sad because I’m really looking forward to getting back in a winning situation where I can go to race weekends and just think about and be focussed on that win and think about the championship all year. So I’m not going to miss that in Formula 1.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to put myself in a position to have a car that can win races. But still I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given in Formula 1. It was a childhood dream that came true and I feel really privileged to have got that opportunity.”
Despite Haas’s unsuccessful end to the year, Magnussen said the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was “great in terms of saying goodbye to the team.
“I think we’ve had a great time, looking back at the four years we’ve had, I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ll think back on some great memories and I wish all the best for the team in the future. I’m going to be rooting for them.”
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14 comments on “Haas ‘weren’t really racing’ in finale, admits Magnussen”
14th December 2020, 9:29
The race was so dull they actually cut to that last Haas pitstop.
14th December 2020, 9:58
Haas haven’t looked like they’ve been racing for much of this season. Perhaps the new boys will do better, although I’m not too optimistic.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
14th December 2020, 10:31
Why hasn’t Haas developed the car at all during the year? I’ve read that before and never saw an explanation. Money issues?
14th December 2020, 10:49
I think the combination of an almost impossible situation with the engine AND the car being off making it hard to see how they could improve enough to make a solid step forward, combined with the need to save on just about everything this year @fer-no65
14th December 2020, 11:40
We are talking about the infamous 2019 Ferrari, the one that got all those failed upgrades. The 2020 haas unfortunately comes with the gimped engine.
14th December 2020, 11:10
To be honest, I have wondered why Haas have stayed in F1 for this season, and why they bother staying on?
Steiner who used to come across as someone constantly eager to fight the odds, has this season appeared completely resigned, going into every race weekend saying that it will be hard, they expect to be among the last, and that there is really nothing to do about it.
The drivers hasn’t even seemed to bother picking a fight with each other. And seemingly no plans for the next season, other than keep the current lame car and show up to make up the numbers.
They seem not even to be trying anymore.
The only reason I could think of was that they were expecting someone to buy the team (Mazepin?) and had to keep it going until the paperwork cleared. But even that seems off the horizon now?
I don’t get it.
14th December 2020, 12:11
14th December 2020, 12:14
It wasn’t great, thery were nearly lapped by a Williams (Russell was around 10s off this behind Firtipaldi at the end) and we haven’t been able to say that in a while.
14th December 2020, 12:26
Next year I hope they will.
14th December 2020, 13:51
«I’m really looking forward to getting back in a winning situation where I can go to race weekends and just think about and be focussed on that win and think about the championship all year. So I’m not going to miss that in Formula 1.»
A true race car driver statement here by Magnussen. I like Perez but he seems desperate for F1 at any cost and I’d like to see him in WEC or Indycar.
14th December 2020, 16:19
I’d argue that Magnussen and Perez are approaching the future differently for a valid reason.
Perez knows he belongs in F1 and deserves to be in the shake up for a good seat (at Red Bull) until it is definitely decided one way or another.
Whereas Magnussen hasn’t been able to deliver (albeit in a total dog of a car this year).
I think most people would agree that Perez’s situation is unsatisfactory for the sport. That one of the most consistent over achievers in recent seasons has lost his seat while some inferior drivers retain theirs.
15th December 2020, 1:33
Magnussen did see Perez out of McLaren. But the McLaren for 2014 was not competitive.
The Renault for Magnussens 2016 season was low end..
Haas in 2017 was also in the lower end.
The highlight was 2018, where the was was upper middle class. But by no means a front-runner car.
2019 was a bad Haas car.
2020 has been a catastrophic Haas car.
Magnussen deserved having a season in a top car. His racecraft is very good. His starts are awesome. I’m convinced he would have done great in a front runner car.
And not talking specific drivers, we have had 7 years straigth in Formula 1 where “who ever is best in the Mercedes wins the world championship”. Only the 2 Merc drivers have had a shot at the title. No one else. I fear I’ll be fading out as a fan, and start looking into other series.
Stephen Crowsen (@drycrust)
14th December 2020, 17:24
That is the wrong attitude! This is Formula 1, not some amateur racing league. Okay, it was the last race of the year, so maybe that’s an excuse for not bringing new modifications to the Grand prix, but being the last race of the year isn’t an excuse for not bringing your “A game”.
The tool is your own design and you built it. If it doesn’t work then who’s fault is that? Like it or not, fans do judge competitors in a sport, but the most important judge is yourself.
15th December 2020, 16:53
Stephen, Haas ran out of money. They had to save the fuel 💸😅. They didn’t have money to develop on the car, and without Mazepin there would not be a 2021.
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