Kevin Magnussen feels Haas can challenge Renault for the top of the middle order slot in this year’s Formula 1 world championship battle.

The US F1 team are currently in joint-fifth place Force India in the world constructors’ championship and 21 points behind Renault in the race for fourth place.

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Magnussen is certain Haas has a stronger package in qualifying trim compared to its midfield rivals but currently lacks consistency match his former team Renault.

The Danish driver is eager to see that improve over the second half of the 2018 campaign in order to close the points deficit to the French squad.

“We’ve been faster in qualifying, so we can certainly qualify ahead of them,” Magnussen said. “They seem to get a bit more out of the races, and score more points than us. That’s a fact we need to improve, our consistency still in the races.

“We’re very consistent in qualifying, that’s the thing we have improved the most since last year. We need a more consistent performance in the race.”

Magnussen also feels all the F1 midfield teams need to be wary of Sauber’s recent resurgence having gone from distant backmarkers to regular points finishes this year, putting the progress down to a quick chassis equipped with an power unit equal to Haas.

“They are making real progress. You need to look at the GPS data, look at the corners,” he said. “The Sauber car is not bad and it has been for a few years now.

“Last year, you saw a few times, the car was pretty good. They had the old power unit so they couldn’t really show it. But this year, they are on a level playing field. It looks like they have made some good progress.”

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