Kevin Magnussen is keen to take the positives out of a tough 2019 season for the Haas Formula 1 team.

The American squad endured a torrid campaign as it slumped to its lowest finish since joining F1 in 2016 of ninth place in the constructors’ championship, scoring just 28 points across 21 races.

Haas drivers Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were hampered by performance issues as the team failed to properly understand its 2019 aerodynamic concept and faced problems getting the most out of Pirelli’s tyres.

“You always learn in any situation but especially when it’s difficult you learn different things,” Magnussen explained.

“You just have to approach your problems in a different way and I think that gives you strength and some experience that you wouldn’t necessarily have gotten if you were just cruising and driving in a perfect car.

“So in many ways it’s also been positive, both for me, as a driver, and for the team as well.”

Magnussen said it became clear as early as the second round of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix in March that the team’s 2019 challenger had fundamental issues, though he insists Haas has still achieved remarkable things in its short tenure in F1.

“It became very clear in Bahrain that we had a problem, which was really strange because in winter testing and in the first race the car was really good,” he said.

“Even in Bahrain in qualifying we qualified sixth or something - up there. Then in the race it just completely fell apart.

“So, from there on it was a little bit of panic in the team. We couldn’t really focus on or find the real root of the problem.

“We were looking a lot at tyres and blaming the problem on tyres issues whereas in fact it was a little more simple, I think, just aero issues, unstable aero and the whole platform just not being strong enough and consistent, stable enough.

“It’s a very frustrating problem because we have able to qualify well but in the race we just have not had any strength.

“That’s very frustrating as a driver, where you start in a position and then you’re just fighting to try to hang on to your position rather than attacking the guy in front.

“In that way it’s been pretty frustrating, but on the other hand, we are a very young team, it’s only our fourth year,” he added. “Last year we got P5 in the constructors’ championship. I think that’s pretty impressive. I don’t think many teams have done that in their third year.

“So we’ve got to take some confidence from that as well and just build on the experience that we have had this year and the learning that we have done and then just come back stronger next year.”



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