Haas F1 owner Gene Haas says Kevin Magnussen is the perfect complement to Romain Grosjean this season following his debut with the American team during pre-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Magnussen makes the move from Haas to Renault this season having been called up to replace Esteban Gutierrez - who failed to score in 2016 -, the Dane charged with lifting the team further up the midfield in its second season of F1.

With Magnussen enjoying his first taste of VF17 machinery as F1 testing got underway in Spain last week, team owner Haas considered the former McLaren driver to be a logical choice when deciding who to partner Grosjean.

"Kevin has a unique personality," he said. "He is aggressive yet he is pretty quiet and calm, so my feeling is that he is a good complement to Grosjean, and we put him in the car and he posted fourth fastest yesterday.

"So all of that is good. I followed him for a while. He is a very precise driver. And he will work well with Grosjean and should hopefully get us as many points as we had last year times two."

Having shown flashes of impressive pace during its first season, scoring top six results in its opening two races, Haas went on to secure eighth in the constructors' standings.

For 2017, Haas envisages the team getting more regularly involved in the competitive mid-field against the likes of Toro Rosso and possibly Force India but accepts there is unlikely to be much to choose behind the likely leading trio of Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.

"We are down to 10 teams now so I kind of look at it two ways," he continued. "The teams at the top are racing themselves, the top three teams, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull, so they are in one league, and then the rest of us are somewhat competitive. All of our times are within a second or so, and those guys are another second ahead of that.

"It is really a two-tiered competition, and it is intense where we are at. We have missed Q3 several times and you are just talking about 100th of second. So it could be half a second for all the teams in the middle.

"Of the 22 cars last year, the cars from like fifth to 15th were all within a few tenths of each other. So the competition depends on where you are sitting and how it looks. But it is intense and it is going to be more intense this year."



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