Denmark’s most successful Formula 1 driver, Kevin Magnussen, enjoyed a strong return to F1 in 2022, following a year of racing in the IMSA in 2021.
The Dane returned to Haas very late on during pre-season, after Nikita Mazepin was suddenly axed from the American team following the current conflict in Eastern Europe.
It was, of course, Haas who dropped him in the first place for Mazepin, marking somewhat of a coincidental return.
Magnussen performed for the side instantly and famously claimed fifth at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, a result that saw jubilant celebrations amongst the American team.
This is due to Haas having failed to score a single point in 2021, after sacrificing the entire year to focus on 2022.
Whilst Magnussen enjoyed multiple other points finishes, his highlight of the year was by far his shock pole position at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
He was the standout Haas driver throughout the year ultimately and will be wanting to remain the dominant figure in the side in 2023, where he will be joined by Nico Hulkenberg.
Looking ahead to his partnership with the experienced German, Magnussen admitted he doesn’t know Hulkenberg “that well” but is hopeful the pair can build an “understanding”.
“I don’t know him that well as a driver,” said Magnussen.
“You only get to know a driver fully when you are team-mates because you get access to his data and listen to his feedback and stuff.
“You get more and more understanding about what is required from the car, what the team needs from you.
“You have been in most situations once or twice when you are that experienced and that is important.
“Also, consistency, he has shown to be a very consistent driver and hopefully that is going to be the case here.”
Hulkenberg is, of course, replacing Mick Schumacher at the Americans in 2023, with Magnussen having had no say over his team-mate for next season.
Magnussen added, though, that its critically important for Haas to “take another step” next season, through the fear that “standing still” will see them return to the foot of the grid.
“I didn’t make the call to change that so I haven’t philosophised too much,” insisted Magnussen.
“I am just looking forward to the next step for Haas.
“We took a good step forward this year after a difficult year last year. I am hoping we can take another step.
“Even though we were only eighth, it is not easy to move forward. In F1, if you are standing still, you fall behind.
“You have got to out-progress the other teams who are really not standing still.
“That is a very exciting challenge and I am positive that we can take a step forward next year.”