The Danish driver secured the 19th position for the upcoming Hungarian Grand Prix, while his teammate Nico Hulkenberg displayed his impressive performance by finishing in 10th place during the race in Budapest.
Magnussen blamed a 0.511s gap in Q1, when both cars were running with hard tyres under the experimental Alternative Tyre Allocation, on his discomfort aboard the VF-23.
He claims that as the Haas vehicle has developed, he has faced difficulties in maintaining a consistent performance under low-fuel and new-tyre circumstances, as the handling characteristics have shifted away from his preferred driving technique.
“I am facing difficulties in achieving consistency with the car for this year,” stated Magnussen. “I seem to be encountering some challenges when it comes to extracting the car’s maximum potential on low fuel and new tires.”
“Lots of inconsistency for me and as you’ve seen in FP3, I had purple sector one and then I’m the slowest on sector two, so going very extreme there.
“It’s as if my typical strengths have transformed into vulnerabilities while driving this vehicle.”
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
Magnussen expressed satisfaction with his performance during extended periods of driving. Nevertheless, Haas has faced difficulties this season in comprehending and handling tire degradation throughout a race.
Magnussen stated that his current struggles are due to the clash between his natural driving tendencies and the specific constraints of the car.
“Nico appears to be able to get more performance from the car during a single lap with new tires. However, when it comes to driving with a full fuel load, the situation changes. It’s a bit puzzling, but I will focus on understanding it better.”
When asked by Motorsport.com if Magnussen had noticed a decline in performance since testing in March or if the car had gradually moved away from his preferred setup, he replied: “I would like to say that the car has improved, but it has actually worsened for me in terms of suiting my particular driving style.”
The problem I’m causing with my driving style appears to be growing larger and larger.
It can be challenging to alter certain aspects of your driving habits. While many things can be modified, there are certain behaviors that feel instinctive and automatic, making it difficult to adjust them.
Discussing whether he could adapt based on the data from Hulkenberg, Magnussen reckoned that to follow the German too closely could leave him in “no-man’s land”
He stated, “I am able to observe his actions and identify the variances. However, certain aspects of your driving technique prove to be quite challenging to modify.”
“If you alter aspects that come effortlessly to you, you find yourself in unfamiliar territory… the car from the previous year has not posed any issues. However, unexpectedly, I now find myself in a difficult situation.”