Kevin Magnussen believes that the Haas F1 Team can still salvage their season, despite losing out on the chance to score points in a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Magnussen finished last of the 13 drivers who took the chequered flag at the Baku City Circuit, suffering damage to his VF-18 in two separate incidents with Marcus Ericsson and Pierre Gasly.
Haas currently stand eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, just one point ahead of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, but Magnussen is still adamant that he is happy with the team’s 2018 package – complimenting the car’s drivability in the Thursday press conference – and that Haas can escape their current rut.
“Obviously, things aren’t going our way at the moment,” said a downbeat Magnussen. “We still have a car that is performing well, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.
“We’ve got a competitive car that we can score points with, and on a regular basis if we have smooth weekends. I’m sure we’ll be all right.”
Haas were on course to score a sixth place finish through Romain Grosjean however the Frenchman lost control under the Safety Car with just a handful of laps remaining, hitting the wall near Turn 15. Magnussen bemoaned “a tough start” to 2018, a year that saw the team lose a potential double points finish in Australia due to a wheel gun failure.
“It’s just been a tough start to the season,” he added. “Especially when you see the potential in the car, it’s even more frustrating.
“We’ll come back from this. It was just a tough weekend overall.”
Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner kept his post-race notes short, saying: “A very disappointing finish to the weekend. There’s nothing more to say.”
Speaking about the late collision with Gasly that angered the Frenchman, Magnussen explained that he was suffering with “intense vibrations” from an earlier coming together and could not see Gasly in his mirrors as the two ran in close proximity down the pit straight.
The stewards deemed the misdemeanour worthy of a ten second time penalty and two penalty points on his Super Licence. Magnussen now stands on eight penalty points, just four away from an automatic one race ban. Following on from the pair’s close call in Friday’s Free Practice 2 session, the Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver branded the Dane the “most dangerous” driver on the grid after the race.