Formula 1 Racing

RaceFans Round-up: Haas must aim to “take a big step like Aston Martin”

(L to R): Kevin Magnussen, Haas; Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Miami International Autodrome, 2023

In the round-up: Kevin Magnussen wants Haas to mimic Aston Martin’s vault to the front of the field.

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In brief

Aston Martin gains surprised Magnussen

Haas finished eighth in the constructors’ championship last year, one place behind Aston Martin. However they have seen their rivals take a leap forward this year, while Haas remains in the thick of an increasingly close midfield fight.

“Every year we talk about how close it is this year and certainly this year it’s taken a big step again towards being more close,” said Magnussen. “So I think it’s not going to be the case that you get to the first race with a car and you see where you are and you stay there the whole year and every race you know you’re fighting for P8 or P9 or whatever.

“This year you’ve got to get everything right to get that the P8 or P7 or whatever is the ‘best of the rest’. There’s one of the midfield teams that’s moved up close to the top and it’s a different grid this year. I think that was what surprised me a little bit.”

Magnussen said Haas made the gains they expected during the off-season but need to target more to catch up with the likes of Aston Martin.

“We knew we were going to take a step with the car this year and we were confident about that and it shows on the track,” said Magnussen. “We do have that performance that we were hoping for. Other teams have just done a really good job, too. So we’re still in that mix of the midfield.

“Of course, we would love to be towards the top, taking a big step like Aston Martin. But that’s what we’ve got to aim to do in the future.”

Mercedes’ Imola update a “first step”

Mercedes say the major upgrade package they will bring to next week’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix will be the “first step” in transforming the W14 into a competitive package.

“It takes quite a long time to develop in the wind tunnel and you can’t just do these things overnight,” said the team’s trackside operations director Andrew Shovlin. “The Imola package are the first steps in that direction. We are hoping to bring other updates later in the year.

“We do hope that it is quicker, we hope…

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