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Magnussen aiming to up his qualifying game in 2018

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team
©WRI2

Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen hailed his 2017 season as his best yet in Formula 1. However, the Dane admitted that his qualifying pace had let him down.

Magnussen made his Grand Prix début in 2014 with McLaren,. He picked up 55 points in that year's championship, but was sidelined by the team the following year. In 2016 he moved to Renault, and this year he headed to Haas.

He finished in the points on only five occasions, but still felt that he had been racing better than ever.

“I think it’s been my best year, especially on Sundays,” he insisted.

But his results had been compromised by struggled in qualifying. His best grid position of the season as in Monza, when he started in ninth place for the Italian Grand Prix.

However on that occasion, nine drivers - almost half the grid - were out of position due to penalties for power unit changes.

“This year hasn’t been my strongest year in qualifying," Magnussen acknowledged. "This car is a bit oversteery on entry to the corners and that’s not my preferred balance in the car.

"I struggle a little bit when I have oversteer on entry.

“I can handle mid-corner and exit, and also in high-speed," said the 25-year-old. "But if I can’t brake and enter the corner with a stable rear I struggle a little bit.

"That’s been a little bit of a problem this year," he admitted. "It calms down in the race, when you fill up the car with fuel.

“Often, it’s worse on ultra-soft than super-soft and in the race, you often run with the harder compound and it helps.

His more experienced team mate Romain Grosjean has also struggled with the handling of the VF-17. As well as braking issues, the car has proved difficult to keep the tyres in the optimum temperature window.

Magnussen agreed that he and the team needed to crack the problem in 2018.

"That is something I need to personally work on for next year," he said. "To try and dial in the car more from the beginning when pre-season testing.

"This year I spent a bit of time trying to find out where my problem is, and then you start working on that problem.

"Next year I will have a better understanding and be able to hit the ground running."

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