Kevin Magnussen having to learn 'new car' each stint
Kevin Magnussen says driving Haas’ VF-19 is like “having to learn a new car” each time he leaves the garage, due to the inconsistent nature of its performance.
Haas has split its car specifications across the last three grands prix as it bids to understand the fluctuations in its pace, which has been most pronounced in race trim.
Magnussen is using the current-spec car while team-mate Romain Grosjean is driving the Melbourne-spec VF-19.
Magnussen showed strong pace in Q1 but failed to make it through to Q2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Grosjean went on to qualify in ninth position.
“It’s tough when you qualify P4 in Q1 to then not make it to Q3 is… every lap when you go out you have to learn a new car,” said Magnussen.
“It was literally one second slower from one run to another. Q1, run one, I did a 1:16.1, then Q2, run one, I did a 1:17.1.
“I didn’t have any mistakes or anything, you know, I just went through Turn 1 on that second run and felt no grip.
“You think ‘OK, I’ll make the best of this because maybe the track is worse and everyone is going slower, so try to get the best lap we can’.
“But it was one second slower, and no-one else went that slow.”
Magnussen underlined that the variation is such that Haas cannot make any predictions for its race prospects.
“Race pace hasn’t looked so bad, but I have no idea,” he said.
“We get times where I’m one second faster than Romain – you know, I’m not one second faster than him – then we get other times when I’m half a second or a second slower.
“The variation is so big that there’s no chance of having any types of predictions for the race. Just hope for the best and try and learn.”