‘Grosjean faster than Button’ – Kevin Magnussen

by Tom Cairns

Kevin Magnussen believes his current Haas F1 Team team-mate Romain Grosjean is “faster” than his 2014 partner Jenson Button at McLaren F1 Team.

The Dane raced alongside the 2009 World Champion in his rookie season but was dropped at the end of the campaign in favour of Fernando Alonso.

After serving as Test Driver for McLaren in 2015, Magnussen left the Woking-based squad to join Renault Sport Formula One Team in 2016 before moving to Haas to partner up with Romain Grosjean from the following year.

Magnussen told BT newspaper that Grosjean appeared to have a pace advantage over him in the second half of 2018, claiming that the Frenchman is the fastest teammate he’s come up against in Formula One.

“If you look at the whole package – human, chemistry, laptimes and so on – Jenson is the best teammate I’ve had. But there is no doubt that Romain is faster than Jenson.

“On one lap, Romain is exceptionally fast when it all goes well for him.

“It would have meant more to me if I had won it [the overall qualifying battle in 2018].

“Perhaps it means something if the big teams are looking at you, but I’m not advertising myself like that.”

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Haas’ pace has been a surprise to many since they joined the sport in 2016, including to Magnussen himself.

“We are still a young team on a steep learning curve,” he explained.

“Perhaps we had a better car than we really expected. We were fighting in a higher weight class than the one we belonged to.

“But, it’s a luxury problem that shows how much talent and potential the team has.”

Grosjean made a successful return to form after initially struggling in 2018, and Magnussen believes this was down to Haas’ updates suiting his teammate better.

“Romain came back after a difficult period and it might have seemed like I took a step backwards,” said Magnussen.

“But that was not the case. He had just returned to his highest level.

“It is clear that with the update, Romain got a car that suited him very well.

“Overall it was better, but unlike Romain I could drive the old one too.

“In fact I have a hard time understanding that it made such a big difference to Romain.”

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