Magnussen: 2024 F1 season an “even more frustrating year” so far “because the pace has been there”

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Kevin Magnussen has endured a rollercoaster 2024 Formula 1 season so far, with flashes of strong pace overshadowed by a string of unfortunate incidents and missed opportunities.

Despite the frustrations, the Haas driver remains determined to keep a level head and trust that results will eventually swing his way.

The 2014 Australian Grand Prix podium finisher has looked more competitive over a single lap this year as he feels a lot more comfortable in the 2024 package, even if the results do not necessarily reflect it.

He looked faster in Monaco in qualifying than Hülkenberg until a team error in Q2, and the Dane did outqualify his German stablemate for the third time in 2024 in Montreal.

“It’s been an even more frustrating year because the pace has been there. I’ve been personally much stronger with the car,” Magnussen explained.

“I had a tough time last year with last year’s car, especially in qualifying, and this year it seems easier.

“Yet still, it hasn’t really gone my way.”

A badly timed virtual safety car period in Australia and plain bad luck has repeatedly hampered the Dane’s efforts to convert his improved form into points-paying finishes.

“Many times with traffic on the last lap in the second run of either Q1 or Q2 or whatever, it’s been a problem. Just managing out laps and timings and stuff like that.

“Many times when we’ve had good races, a safety car or virtual safety car meant that other people got an advantage.

“It’s one of those seasons where it just seems like headwind all the time.”

Magnussen cites the recent Imola event as a prime example, where Oscar Piastri blocked him at the first chicane when the Australian was on an out lap at the end of Q1. The Danish driver had been faster than his teammate on the first two runs in the session.

Starting 18th, he stormed through the field in the second stint on the alternate strategy, finishing P12. He was only a few seconds away from Yuki Tsunoda in P10 when the chequered flag fell.

“In Imola, the McLaren comes out of the pits, they didn’t even have time to come around to start the lap, so how are you going to foresee them coming out there? That cost me a good starting spot in Imola.

“Then we went on to do the race and had fantastic pace and came back almost in the points.

“If it hadn’t been for that, if I had started just close to the top ten, we would have scored points,” he rued.

“It’s easy to get frustrated about those things, but at the same time, you just need to keep your head cool.”

Despite the mounting frustrations, Magnussen remains pragmatic about the situations outside his control, acknowledging that “those things are part of racing.”

He is focused on maximising the factors within his influence and maintaining confidence that fortunes will turn.

“We can’t control cars coming out on weird timings. We’ve got to trust that people go out to try and finish a lap, and they couldn’t even start a lap, so with those things, you’ve just got to move on.”

While constantly analysing where marginal improvements can be made, Magnussen believes his and the team’s decision-making has generally been sound.

“Almost all of the times this year, it looked like we were doing the right thing,” he stated.

As the 2024 season approaches its halfway point, the 31-year-old is staying positive and keeping himself motivated.

With some luck, he hopes to start showing his improved form in time for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.