Although Romain Grosjean was the top scorer at Haas again, Kevin Magnussen has plenty to be pleased about his first season at the team.
Grosjean seemed to suffer more from the peaky performance of the VF-17. His highs were higher – he was fantastic in Austria – but the lows were lower, and usually punctuated by furious radio messages.
Magnussen scored his best result in Azerbaijan where he briefly held third place. This was well above where the car was capable of finishing at another track which didn’t seem to suit it, and he took the chequered flag in seventh. This was much better than his unhappy team mate who spent most of the weekend reversing out of run-off areas.
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The pair ended the year next to each other in the points standings. While Grosjean racked up the most points and had more points-scoring finished than Magnussen, it wasn’t as emphatic a victory as he arguably needs at this stage in his career.
In races where both drivers saw the chequered flag Magnussen was ahead more often than not. It was his qualifying which usually let him down.
Next year Haas will have continuity in its driver line-up for the first time. If either Grosjean or Magnussen is going to break out of the midfield and stake a claim for a seat at a top team, they’re going to have to put the other firmly in the shade in 2018.