Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has praised Kevin Magnussen for his excellent 2022 campaign, one which saw the American side return to the points after a forgettable 2021 season.
The American outfit took a huge gamble in 2021, by opting to effectively use their 2020 car in order to fully focus on the new aerodynamic regulations that were introduced this year.
To their relief, the risky strategy worked, with Magnussen having claimed fifth place at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
Magnussen, of course, was brought back into the side that dropped him at the end of 2020 to replace Nikita Mazepin, following the start of the current conflict in Eastern Europe.
The Danish driver delivered instantly, by claiming a top 10 in three of the opening four races of the year.
Much to his own frustration, though, he then fell away mid-season, a time when former team-mate Mick Schumacher improved considerably.
To Magnussen’s credit, he improved once again towards the end of the season and claimed a superb points finish at the team’s home race at the Circuit of the Americas, ending a point-less seven-race streak.
Speaking on the experienced driver’s season, Steiner admitted that Magnussen suffered “so many ups and downs”, but that he is now “really looking forward” to 2023.
“I think when he came back in, he scored points [at the first race], he had the team behind him,” Steiner told Formula1.com.
“Then I would say, just after the summer break, he struggled a little bit and we don’t really know why.
“But then he came back, so it’s just a little bit that we need to get the ups and downs out of the team. I wouldn’t say only of Kevin, you know. We need to analyse why we have so many ups and downs, and we did some of this job.
“Hopefully next year we can come back more stable, you know, that you have got a good performance most of the time. You always have got a bad event or something, but we just need to stabilise everything.
“For [Kevin], as well, coming back to form. It’s a long schedule, a lot of races, but he now handles it well, and I think I really look forward to next year.”
When Magnussen departed the sport at the end of 2020, he was often referred to as someone who could be erratic at times.
Steiner knows about what the Dane was like all too well, with the duo having famously clashed multiple times over the years they’ve spent together.
The Haas team principal recognised, though, in 2022 that he’s “matured” in himself, with Magnussen now being a “calmer” character.
“I mean, he’s just matured, you know, by getting older,” added the Haas boss.
“We all get calmer and see things sometimes a little bit differently,” the Italian team boss continued.
“He’s most of the time very relaxed about things, and now with the combination of Mark with him, I hope in the future we will see even a better Kevin.”