Magnussen says Haas a ‘better fit’ for Hulkenberg

Gunther Steiner is having zero regrets about controversially ousting Mick Schumacher from the Haas team.

“Finally we have a standard. Nico will pull Kevin with him,” he said in Bahrain.

When asked if he has no regrets about ousting Schumacher, Steiner added: “Absolutely.

“I’ve just said to my chief engineer ‘It’s so nice to be sitting here with two good drivers’, it just suits us perfectly.”

‘Nico’, of course, is F1 returnee Nico Hulkenberg, 35, who opened his account for Haas by getting through to Q3 – while team incumbent Kevin Magnussen failed even to get out of Q1.

Team boss Steiner, however, is not worried.

“Because his teammate shows him what’s possible,” he said.

But while disappointed, Magnussen insisted he’s not too worried about being badly outpaced by Hulkenberg at the 2023 season opener.

“Everyone’s so close together,” said the Dane. “If the slightest thing goes wrong, you’re out.

“My side of the garage was missing something. I didn’t adapt and then lost time with Perez in the last corner.

“When the gaps are small, that’s Q1 over for you.”

At the same time, 30-year-old Magnussen admits that the new Haas car “looks like it’s a better fit for Nico”.

“The car has potential, now I need to find it. So it’s a bit of a crap day for me but in general that it’s so close is a good thing for Formula 1.”

Earlier in Bahrain, axed 2022 driver Schumacher insisted he hasn’t even watched the latest edition of Drive To Survive – in which Steiner was regularly critical of his performances.

“I don’t necessarily have to see myself on TV,” the German insisted.

But even Mick’s uncle Ralf, who was so critical of Steiner’s behaviour, had to applaud young Schumacher’s replacement in Bahrain.

“It was a great achievement to come back like this,” he told Sky Deutschland. “Nico showed his teammate and the whole of Formula 1 that he’s back.”

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