Kevin Magnussen says it was his best Formula 1 campaign for races but worst for qualifying performances after struggling to get his Haas into a strong operating window over one lap.

The Danish driver secured five points finishes in his first year with the US team with the highlight of seventh place at the manic Azerbaijan Grand Prix – marking his best season in F1 since his rookie campaign with McLaren in 2014. Reflecting on his 2017, Magnussen was thrilled with his race day performances for Haas but conceded his qualifying results forced him to fight from further back on the grid.

Magnussen links his qualifying weaknesses to struggling to get the Haas to stay in an optimum operating window with the new Pirelli tyres for a single lap. Despite his frustrations, the 25-year-old was content with his campaign and is confident he can get on top of the issues next year.

“I think it’s been my best year, especially on Sundays,” Magnussen said. “This year hasn’t been my strongest year in qualifying. This car is a bit oversteery on entry to the corners and that’s not my preferred balance in the car. I struggle a little bit when I have oversteer on entry.

“I can handle mid-corner and exit, and also in high-speed, but if I can’t brake and enter the corner with a stable rear I struggle a little bit so that’s been a little bit of a problem this year. It calms down in the race, when you fill up the car with fuel.

“Often, it’s worse on ultra-soft than super-soft and in the race, you often run with the harder compound and it helps. That is something I need to personally work on for next year, to try and dial in the car more from the beginning when pre-season testing whereas this year I spent a bit of time trying to find out where my problem is and then you start working on that problem, next year, I will have a better understanding and be able to hit the ground running.”


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