Kevin Magnussen believes Formula 1 needs to reach a stage where smaller teams can at least “have some hope” of fighting for wins and podiums. 

Magnussen helped Haas secure its best result since joining F1 in 2016 with a fifth-place finish in last year’s constructors’ championship as it narrowly lost out the ‘best of the rest’ spot to Renault behind the sport’s leading trio of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull. 

F1 is working on a set of new regulations for 2021 - including the introduction of a budget cap - in a bid to bring the field together and lower the performance disparity that currently exists between the top three teams and the rest of the grid. 

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Sporting boss Ross Brawn recently highlighted what he branded as an "unacceptable" podium record of the midfield teams, with just two being scored across the past two seasons and a 297-point buffer separating Red Bull (third) and Renault (fourth) in the 2018 standings. 

"The ideal situation for Formula 1 would be to have a much closer field,” Magnussen told ESPN

“You’re always going to have the best team winning and those teams are usually going to be Mercedes and Ferrari and the usual suspects because people are going to want to work in those great teams, regardless of budgets or whatever.

"But it would be good if smaller teams, like Haas, have a shot at winning once in a while, getting on a podium a few times a year and having something to fight for, have some hope. 

“Just the fact you go into weekends and you're not even thinking about a podium, it's not even on your mind.”

Magnussen finished ninth in the 2018 drivers’ standings and despite enjoying the best F1 season of his career, he admits the modern-day realities of the sport is far from what he imagined growing up.

"The mentality I have now is so far from anything I thought I would have,” Magnussen explained. 

“That part of it really sucks, it's not at all fun. But it's still Formula 1 and you still take pleasure in doing a good job, of course, but I'm looking forward to one day when there's going to be change.

"If you'd told me that as a kid, 'Kevin, one day you'll be happy with seventh', I'd have killed myself!,” he jokingly added. 

“But that's the situation. It’s just Formula 1 as it is in these days, unless you're in one of the top three teams you can forget about podiums and wins. That's a bit sad. 

“We take pleasure in the races where we feel we've done the best we could. Hopefully one day we can celebrate a bit more properly if one day we can get on the podium or a win, who knows.”

Asked how he has found adapting to the situation, he replied: "I'm still not there! I hope I never will be, because I don't want to feel too much satisfaction in being best of the rest, or whatever we want to call it.

"You have to try and take some motivation and drive yourself towards improving and working hard and building motivation for yourself and the team. You have to set yourself little goals to achieve these big goals. 

“Of course, it's impossible, but my goal as a racing driver is still to be a world champion - that's still my overall goal.”

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