Kevin Magnussen believes his qualifying ability has been improved by his time alongside Romain Grosjean, labelling his former Haas team-mate as “something special” across one lap.
Magnussen joined Haas for 2017, linking up with Grosjean, and competed next to the Frenchman for 77 grands prix, the seventh-longest team-mate partnership in Formula 1 history.
Neither driver was retained by Haas for 2021 as the outfit opted for a rookie line-up of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, admitting that its decision was partly motivated by financial factors.
Magnussen, who has since secured a deal to race for Ganassi in IMSA in 2021, believes Grosjean’s raw pace behind the wheel has been deeply underrated.
“I think what I experienced with Romain is an incredibly fast driver on one lap – not that he is not quick in the race as he’s super quick in the race as well – but especially in one lap, he is something special,” said Magnussen.
“I think having him as a benchmark, especially in qualifying, has made me a better qualifier.
“You seriously need to get it right to beat Romain in qualifying. It’s hard to imagine that anyone can be much quicker than him, on his day, he is phenomenal on one lap.”
Magnussen also feels that some of Grosjean’s errors have been magnified, particularly in the social media age, to unfairly malign his ability.
“F1 is funny as Romain has made some mistakes in the last few years that have gained a lot of attention,” he said.
“It’s kind of taken away from him some of the credit he should have been given for his abilities in the car.
“My personal feeling is there’s not a lot of people that can be faster on one lap.”