The Danish racer Magnussen ranked 19th in the qualifying rounds for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg secured the 10th position with his outstanding single-lap performance in Budapest.
Magnussen attributed the 0.511s gap in Q1, with both cars equipped with hard tyres under the experimental Alternative Tyre Allocation, to his unease with the VF-23.
According to him, the transformation of the Haas car has posed a challenge for him to maintain consistency under low-fuel and new-tyre conditions, since the car’s handling has shifted from his instinctive driving style.
“I have trouble maintaining consistency with this year’s car,” Magnussen confessed. “For some unexplained reason, I’m having difficulty maximizing the car’s potential under low fuel, new tyre conditions.
“I’m experiencing a lot of inconsistency, as evidenced by my leading performance in sector one during FP3, only to fall to the slowest in sector two – a drastic shift.
“It’s almost as though the aspects I’m usually strong in have become my stumbling blocks in this car.”
Magnussen was satisfied with his performance in long-runs despite Haas’s struggle this season to comprehend and manage tyre wear throughout the race, which is identified as a notable weak point.
Upon inquiry about why his previously advantageous traits are now causing difficulties, Magnussen responded, “My innate driving style is currently conflicting with the specific constraints of the car.
“Nico is evidently capable of extracting more from the car on a single lap with new tyres, while the situation changes with high fuel. It’s rather puzzling, but I’m committed to improving.”
Questioned by F1 Flow.com about whether Magnussen noticed this downturn since March testing or if the car’s evolution had gradually deviated from his comfort zone, he stated, “The car has improved in some aspects, but in relation to my unique driving style, it’s become worse.
“The problem arising from my driving style appears to be escalating.
“Altering certain elements of your driving style can be challenging. There are aspects that can be changed, but some are so innate and automatic that it becomes hard to modify.”
Regarding possible adaptation based on Hulkenberg’s data, Magnussen warned that imitating the German too closely might leave him in a “no-man’s land”.
He explained, “I can comprehend his actions and the differences, but some driving style elements are genuinely difficult to change.
“Adjusting things that come naturally to you could result in you being in a no-man’s land…the previous year’s car didn’t pose this problem. Now, all of a sudden, I find myself in a challenging predicament.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Haas F1 evolution and Magnussen’s struggle
How did Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg perform in the qualifying rounds for the Hungarian Grand Prix?
Kevin Magnussen ranked 19th in the qualifying rounds, while his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg secured the 10th position.
What was the cause of Magnussen’s struggle during the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying round?
Magnussen attributed his struggle to the Haas car’s evolution which has made it challenging for him to maintain consistency under low-fuel and new-tyre conditions. He explained that the car’s handling had shifted from his instinctive driving style.
What has been a particular weakness of the Haas team this season?
One of the Haas team’s weaknesses this season has been understanding and managing tyre wear throughout a race.
How does Magnussen explain the impact of his driving style on his current performance?
Magnussen states that his innate driving style trends are conflicting with the specific constraints of the Haas car, and this is working against him. He admits that he’s having difficulty maximizing the car’s potential under low fuel and new tyre conditions.
How does Magnussen plan to improve his performance?
Magnussen intends to work on his driving style to better match the evolving needs of the Haas car. However, he admits that this will be challenging, as some aspects of his driving style are innate and difficult to change.