Kevin Magnussen says he lost his confidence in the early stages of his career when he drove for the big teams and moving to Haas helped him rediscover his confidence.
Magnussen debuted with McLaren in 2014 and won his first podium in his first F1 race at Australian GP. He then spent the rest of the season sidelined by his team in favour of Fernando Alonso.
After a disappointing season at Renault where he scored only two race points, the Dane switched to the American team.
“I’ve been able to let go of the pressure of being a Formula 1 driver a bit and just enjoy racing, enjoy those cars and enjoy the races more,” Magnussen told sports website Motorsport.
“I’m still focused, and I’m still working hard; it’s just more enjoyable and less negative pressure.
“It’s always easier when you’re having fun, that’s for sure.
“I am having fun here; I enjoy working with these guys, and I like the way the team is operating and the mentality within the team.”
When McLaren dropped him in 2015, Magnussen lost confidence in his abilities as a driver. But joining Haas has helped him rediscover his skills and his self-belief improved.
“It was tough to spend a year out of Formula 1 in 2015 when I lost the seat to Fernando at McLaren,” he said.
“Then to come back, finding your way back and getting used to everything again, getting back into it in every way took some time.
“This year I’ve felt more normal and felt more at home, so I’m really looking forward to next year and starting the season with a team I know and hitting the ground running.”
Although he had already been with two world champion teams in the past, Magnussen is in no hurry to switch from Haas to a bigger outfit.
“Obviously, if one day I get a chance to race for a top team, I’d jump at it; I’d go for it absolutely,” he said.
“We’re all dreaming of that but until that happens, I’d be happy here.”