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steiner magnussen

Steiner: Magnussen is not where he needs to be to have a seat in F1

steiner magnussen

Guenther Steiner revived Kevin Magnussen’s Formula 1 career two years ago but the former Haas team boss now feels his favourite Dane may be ripe for replacement, along with several other long-serving drivers on the grid currently.

Magnussen, 31, has scored five points from 12 races this season compared to Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg’s 22 points tally, with the 36-year-old German finishing an impressive sixth in the most recent two GPs.

Hulkenberg will join Sauber next season which morphs into Audi in 2026 while Ferrari-powered Haas look set for an all-new lineup with British rookie Oliver Bearman already signed up and Esteban Ocon looking the frontrunner to join him.

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Steiner told reporters at a recent promotional event for Buffalo Trace bourbon: “I love Kevin…(but) what he is doing lately against Hulkenberg is not impressive, to say the least. We need to be open about that… either Hulkenberg is so good that we don’t know about it or Kevin is just in the moment not where he needs to be to have a seat in F1.

“There is this time when you need to realise… There’s quite a few now if you look in there,” added the Italian, who left Haas at the end of last year but remains a fan favourite through the Netflix docu-series ‘Drive to Survive’.

Steiner: Is this the best for the team?

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: The car of Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing is recovered from the track after crashing during the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2024 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images) *** BESTPIX ***

“We have got Checo (Sergio Perez), Dani (Daniel Ricciardo), Kevin, (Valtteri) Bottas. Bottas is difficult to say something about because the car is not really good so we don’t really know where he is. But there is quite a lot of these guys. And the people who give them a seat need to think about it and ask: Is this the best for the team?” ventured Steiner.

Perez’s form has plunged since he signed a contract extension with Red Bull in June, the 34-year-old Mexican scoring only 15 points from his last six races while triple F1 world champion teammate Max Verstappen has won seven so far.

Former Red Bull and McLaren race winner Ricciardo, 35, has scored in only two races compared to VCARB teammate Yuki Tsunoda’s six points finishes. Ex-Mercedes driver Bottas, 34, is last in the standings with Sauber, a team yet to score a point this season.

Magnussen was brought back by Steiner at short notice in 2022 after the war in Ukraine forced the replacement of Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.

While he has been a consistent and loyal teammate to Hulkenberg, as well as unlucky at times, the Dane has accrued 10 penalty points and is standing on the brink of a one-race ban.

Steiner also said he had no idea whether owner Gene Haas might sell the team: “I was there a long time and I still don’t know what he wants to do. I didn’t know last year, I didn’t know two years ago and I don’t know what he thinks short or long term.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin)

Big Question: Does Kevin Magnussen deserve another year in Formula 1?