MX23RW : Wednesday, October 23 06:09:29| >> :600:2849490:2849490:

Magnussen backs Haas driver decision

Magnussen backs Haas driver decision
© Reuters
Kevin Magnussen is hoping for a much better season for Haas in 2020.

Kevin Magnussen is hoping for a much better season for Haas in 2020.

The American team has had a horror 2019, and not just because of the problems with its erratic former sponsor Rich Energy.

Rich Energy boss William Storey is still causing trouble for Haas, revealing on Twitter that the team is "in negotiations" about selling to "Saudi investors".

Even more serious have been Haas' problems with Pirelli's difficult 2019 tyres.

"It's not the tyres' fault," Magnussen said in Singapore. "They're not great, but the other teams have the same ones and they get a lot more out of them than we do."

On and off track, Haas has been experimenting wildly to identify the problem, and Magnussen says progress is finally being made.

"We are much closer to understanding it," he confirmed. "It should look a lot different for next year."

Indeed, Auto Motor und Sport claims that Racing Point recently objected to Pirelli's efforts to extend the deadline for finalising the 2020 tyres.

"We were only planning a final test in September with Mercedes, but that will not be enough if we still have to do work on the construction," said Pirelli boss Mario Isola.

Ultimately, FIA president Jean Todt apparently stepped in to ensure the extra development time for Pirelli was granted on safety grounds.

As for Magnussen, he thinks his bosses were right to not sign Nico Hulkenberg for 2020 and instead keep Romain Grosjean.

"I think it's good for the continuity is provides," the Dane told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

"Believe it or not, Romain and I have worked really well together. Especially when you're in a difficult situation like we are, it's helpful to have that continuity."

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Nico Hulkenberg pictured on September 5, 2019
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