Guenther Steiner hits back at accusations over Haas’ Kevin Magnussen retention

Henry Valantine
Kevin Magnussen alongside Guenther Steiner.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen stands alongside team principal Guenther Steiner.

Guenther Steiner has insisted that retaining Kevin Magnussen for the 2024 season at Haas was not “sentimental”, after being questioned about his struggles this season.

Magnussen trails team-mate Nico Hulkenberg 11-3 in the in-team qualifying battle this season and has not reached the points in the last nine races, with Haas having been struggling heavily with tyre wear problems on their car all season long.

But any lingering questions surrounding the team’s driver line-up were quickly put to rest when Haas announced both Hulkenberg and Magnussen would continue driving for the team in 2024, keeping consistency among the driver line-up for another year.

Guenther Steiner puts backing in Kevin Magnussen as struggles continue

While the in-house battle at Haas has been more even in terms of race finishes, Hulkenberg finishing ahead of Magnussen eight times to six, but the gap in qualifying has remained a concern through the season so far.

Magnussen spoke after the Italian Grand Prix at the weekend of how he is continually struggling for grip while driving the VF-23, admitting that he is currently in “one of the weakest” periods of his career to date.

But Haas have kept the faith nonetheless, extending his contract by another year to keep the Dane on the grid – and the team boss is adamant that it has not been done for reasons beyond driving, with Magnussen being Haas’ longest-serving driver in Formula 1.

“No, it is not sentimental,” Steiner stated to media including

“Kevin isn’t in the best phase of his career at the moment but we are not performing and we understand where he is at – he has no confidence in the car and is just in a bad spot. recommends

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“He is keeping upbeat about it and changing the driver would not make us better at the moment.

“Obviously, Nico is doing a fantastic job and we are amazed how he does it, but once we get a car to Kevin’s liking – a stable car – that is why we kept him because we believe in him.

“He was with us when we were in bad days, sometimes you cannot overreact, we want to give him a chance. It is nothing to do with sentiment.”

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