Kevin Magnussen: Missed chances shows Haas' potential
Kevin Magnussen says Haas’ missed chances in 2018 provide it with lessons as to where it can improve moving forward.
Haas is set to finish fifth in this year’s World Championship, an improvement of three places compared to the eighth spot it obtained across both 2016 and 2017.
Haas has achieved the feat despite several setbacks in which it missed out on points, most notably at Australia’s season-opener, where botched pit stops cost it a potential 22-point haul.
Magnussen has scored 55 of Haas’ 90 points this year, equalling his own personal record, but reckons there remains areas where the sport’s newest team can make gains.
“I think 55 points is good for a midfield team, but I still think there was potential for more this year,” he said.
“That’s both a positive and a negative. Positive, because we’ve showed we have great potential in the team to do more, but of course, it’s always disappointing not to get everything out of it as you could.
“We’re learning as a team and next year we’ll have even more experience. We’ll have learned a lot from this year and, hopefully, we can do a bit more next year.
“As a team, we’re doing better and better. We’re learning as we go.
“For us, we’re such a new team, performing at such a high level already, sometimes we’re a bit short of experience for the performance levels being achieved.
“We’re fighting big, experienced teams like Renault, McLaren, Williams and, as a new team, sometimes it’s hard to avoid mistakes because of a lack of experience.
“I’d rather be in an inexperienced team overperforming than in an experienced team underperforming.”
Magnussen has scored points in half of this year’s 20 Grands Prix – though was on course for a haul prior to rainfall in Germany, and was excluded post-race in the US.
“It’s hard to point your finger at one thing,” said Magnussen on the setbacks.
“I don’t feel like it’s one issue that’s been reoccurring. I think we’ve just faced a lot of different challenges. That’s been a theme for the year.
“A lot of things that could go wrong, did go wrong. We haven’t had the margins on our side this year. A lot of things just tipped over to the wrong side to our disadvantage. Sometimes you have seasons like that.
“Generally, though, we’ve been strong all year. We’ve just had some missed opportunities.”