Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen is looking forward to what he feels should be an exciting race at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, with the midfield battle still very much alive.
The American squad currently sit eighth in the constructor’s standings, just two points off the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team in seventh, and only six points adrift of Scuderia Toro Rosso in sixth.
With everything still to play for in terms of finishing positions, Magnussen is ready to fight for the strongest result possible, with adding to that points tally his only goal.
“Yes, definitely. We have nothing to lose going into Abu Dhabi. We just have to go for it. It’s going to be exciting.”
No matter the result this weekend however, the Dane believes Haas have made great progress this year, which may not be immediately apparent from the outside.
“It’s hard for people to see what progress is being made from the outside. A lot of the stuff doesn’t pay off straight away.
“A lot of the stuff you improve and develop. It’s about the little steps, and when you do a thousand of them, you make progress and the benefits become visible.
“Each time you make a step, it’s not always visible. I can certainly see from the inside how we’re building up and improving. There’s still a long way to go and I’m happy I’m a part of it.”
Although Haas have had some disappointing results in 2017, through either bad luck, reliability or error, Magnussen feels they have a strong car, which has allowed them to be extremely competitive at times.
“We’ve designed a strong car. The baseline of our car is very competitive. I think we just need to try to improve our understanding of the car and our operation of the car so we can extract the performance out of it in every condition, every temperature and every track.
“In terms of results, we could’ve gotten more out of it. Performance has been there to score big points on a few occasions, but we’ve missed out due to bad luck or reliability issues.
“I think we could’ve had a little more to show with a bit more luck, but it’s been a really enjoyable season, and I’ve had the most fun racing that perhaps I’ve ever had.
“We’ve had a few places where we’ve been very strong and stood out a bit compared to the rest of the season. That tells me the design of the car is right, we just need to exploit it better.”
Racing in Abu Dhabi signals the final round of the 2017 Formula 1 season, and the Dane says that although they will be heading into the off-season after this weekend, there is a very little time spent relaxing.
“It’s the time of year where you actually work the hardest, at least in terms of your training. You don’t have any races to prepare for, so you can push yourself a bit more and really build up your fitness over the winter.
“Obviously, it’s nice to get a break from all the traveling, but it doesn’t take long before you start missing racing again.”