Kevin Magnussen believes the Haas Formula 1 team has “definitely” taken a step forward for the 2023 campaign.
Haas enters the upcoming year on the back of a mixed 2022 season and has opted to field a revised driver line-up, pairing Nico Hulkenberg alongside Magnussen.
Hulkenberg replaces Mick Schumacher at the team, as the US-owned squad decided to bring onboard experience instead of youth as it looks to propel up the F1 pecking order.
Haas enjoyed a trouble-free pre-season test, clocking the fourth-highest mileage across the three days of action.
Another change present for the 2023 campaign is its new title sponsor MoneyGram, which the team hopes will allow it to spend close to the cap limit of $135 million.
Magnussen was pleased with the car’s performance at the outing in Bahrain and is positive about Haas’ prospects for 2023.
“Haas definitely has taken a step,” he said. “It’s a new era for the team that we’re stepping into, I would say.
“It’s exciting, we’re heading in the right direction. And it’s going to be exciting to see where we go.
“Everyone in the team can see that we’re in a good place and that we’re moving forward and getting closer to achieving the goals that we have for the team. And progress motivates everyone.”
Haas ended the 2022 season eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, with most of its points being scored in the early and mid-point of the campaign.
While Magnussen is confident that Haas has made improvements compared to last year, he remained coy over where it could place in the pecking order.
“I’m pretty happy, it’s as always very difficult to see how much progress you’ve made,” he said.
“One thing is your feeling. My feeling is good with the car. But we don’t know. You know, if the lap times that we’re seeing from the fastest guys, if that’s as fast as they can go.
“We know we can go faster but maybe they did those lap times and they can go faster as well.
“We’re always trying to not look at the times, so much and just focus on your programme and getting those items done that you’ve planned to really just build your knowledge about the car.
“Testing is sometimes as a driver frustrating, because you’re putting things on the car that you know is not going to be the right direction for the balance of the day.
“But you need to try it anyway, just to learn and see how the car reacts.”