Magnussen relieved to be back in form ahead of finale

© XPB 

Kevin Magnussen admitted this week that it was a relief to be back in form again after a tough run of Grand Prix races in recent weeks.

The Haas driver finished out of the points in Italy, Singapore and Mexico, and failed to finish at all in Japan and the United States.

But the Dane was back in the top ten as part of a double points success for the team in Brazil, which has given him a welcome boost heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi next week.

“It was good to come back into form," the 26-year-old agreed. "Especially after a tough weekend in Mexico where we couldn’t find much performance.

"It still wasn’t a perfect result, but nonetheless it was good to get both cars in the points," he said of his ninth place finish at Interlagos, one place behind team mate Romain Grosjean.

"We had the pace in the car in Brazil, but we didn’t quite get the points that we deserved in terms of potential with the pace we had," he said. "So it still wasn’t a perfect result, but nonetheless it was good to get both cars in the points.”

Magnussen wasn't sure if they would be able to achieve the same level of success in Abu Dhabi. Last year, neither he nor Grosjean finished in the top ten.

"Hopefully, we can do better than last year when we struggled a little bit with tyres," he said. "Sector one is enjoyable, but probably with this car it’s going to be quite easy flat, less challenging. That makes sector three the most challenging now.”

The eight points from Brazil were a valuable boost to Haas in their bid to catch Renault for fourth place in the constructors championship. However with a 24 point deficit that now appears beyond reach, as team principal Guenther Steiner admitted earlier in the week.

But Magnussen was still keen to point out how much Haas can take away from their performance in 2018.

"As a team, we’re doing better and better. We’re learning as we go," he insisted. "We’re fighting big, experienced teams like Renault, McLaren, Williams and, as a new team, sometimes it’s hard to avoid mistakes because of a lack of experience.

"We’re such a new team, performing at such a high level already, sometimes we’re a bit short of experience for the performance levels being achieved," he added. "I’d rather be in an inexperienced team overperforming than in an experienced team underperforming.”

Magnussen himself is responsible for 55 of the team's total tally of 90 points, something he takes great pride in.

“I think 55 points is good for a midfield team, but I still think there was potential for more this year.

"That’s both a positive and a negative," he continued. "Positive, because we’ve showed we have great potential in the team to do more, but of course, it’s always disappointing not to get everything out of it as you could.

"We’ll have learned a lot from this year and, hopefully, we can do a bit more next year."

Magnussen said that he's looking forward to putting his off-season time to good use in preparation of returning to the team in 2019.

“I’ll start training," he said when asked what the first thing he would do after Abu Dhabi. "You tend to lose a little bit of form during the year because you travel so much. You don’t get as much time to train as you’d like.

"Of course, you drive a lot, you race a lot in the car, you get fit from driving, which is the best kind of training.

"[But] in terms of physical fitness shape, you lose a bit because you can’t train as regularly as you would in the offseason, so you try and build that back up in the offseason.

“The offseason is pretty long, but it’s definitely long enough!" he added. "It’s a tough season with a lot of traveling.

"It’s not tough to race – that’s the enjoyable part. It’s all the traveling and going through different time zones, long flights and so on, that’s the tiring bit.

"It’s good to get some time off from that, but it doesn’t take long to start missing racing."

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