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Magnussen confident new-spec Haas is development direction to follow for 2024 season

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Kevin Magnussen has expressed faith that Haas’ development direction for the upcoming F1 season is the correct one after the team weighed up their options with two different packages late in 2023.

In a bid to climb the pecking order, Haas introduced a major update package at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, with Magnussen and team mate Nico Hulkenberg both initially using it on their cars.

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However, for the penultimate round in Las Vegas, Hulkenberg elected to go back to the previous spec, describing the new parts as “not the step forward that we needed from a big update”.

Magnussen, meanwhile, raced on with the upgrades and, speaking at the season finale in Abu Dhabi, explained what the team learned and the direction they were planning to go in for 2024.

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Magnussen and Hulkenberg ran different packages as the 2023 season drew to a close

“I think the upgraded car is more in line with the plan for next year, the concept looks like what we think of for next year,” Magnussen commented.

“It’s not actually got more downforce on paper, it’s not faster, but it is better to drive, it’s easier, the balance is more consistent. That’s why you don’t see a step back when we run the new spec, although it’s got less downforce.

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“I think that’s what we need to go into the winter, developing in that direction, and hopefully we can take a step forward for next year because it’s not been an easy year, for sure.”

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Despite the upgrade, Haas finished the season 10th and last in the standings

Magnussen was then asked to pick out a highlight from the season gone by, with the Dane admitting they were few and far between – Haas having scored just 12 points and finished at the foot of the constructors’ standings.

“There’s not been any great highlights I would say, unfortunately,” said Magnussen, who scored three 10th-place finishes, while Hulkenberg had a P7 result to his name.

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“I think the races where we scored points have been quite… There have been races where I’ve been extremely happy with a P10, which just shows what kind of season we’ve had.

“But yeah, those races where points have been on the table have been the highlights. Unfortunately, it’s not been any better than that.”

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