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Magnussen 'stopped Grosjean from getting complacent' at Haas

Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 team
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Haas F1 Team principal Guenther Steiner says that bringing Kevin Magnussen into the team at the start of 2017 has helped Romain Grosjean stay sharp.

"He reacted very well," Steiner told Autosport magazine when asked how Grosjean had initially taken the news of a change of team mate. "I think he took it down as a challenge.

"At the beginning, he was maybe out of his comfort zone," Steiner added. "But I think they get the best when they are just a little bit out of their comfort zone.

"When you are in the comfort zone you stagnate," he explained. "You get complacent. It's very easy to get complacent if you're not challenged.

"You need always to get a little bit pushed. Otherwise if you're too comfortable, it's always too easy."

Magnussen replaced Esteban Gutierrez at the end of the team's maiden season in Formula 1. While Gutierrez failed to score any points in 2016, Grosjean finished in the top ten on five occasions.

Grosjean has already matched that feat in the first half of the current season alone. And Magnussen has contributed points to the team tally on a further three occasions.

Both drivers have now been confirmed as having contracts to stay at Haas for 2018.

"I think it's very important for a team to get two very fast drivers," said Grosjean for his part.

"Whenever you've got one driver faster than the other one, the fast one gets slower and kind of has an easy life.

"I think he's underrated. He's super-fast. He can do very well when the car is not suiting him - he doesn't really mind."

Grosjean certainly seems to have established a solid working partnership with his new teammate this season.

"I've got a really good relationship with him," Grosjean told Motorsport.com. "It almost surprised me.

"Teammates are always in a war, but we've both grown up and we both respect each other a lot," he insisted.

"In the other categories, younger categories, every teammate I just wanted to kill them! I just wanted to be the best.

"If he's faster, great - I need to improve. And if I'm faster, great - I've had a good day."

Grosjean added that it was easy to see from Mercedes' example how two competitive drivers can drive a team forward.

"For Lewis it gets hard sometimes because he's had to raise his game and in other teams that's just not the case," he noted.

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