2018 team and drivers review: Haas
A look back at how the Haas drivers and team fared in the 2018 season. While the American owned team achieved their best ever result in the teams’ standings, both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were frustratingly inconsistent.
Constructors’ championship | 93 points (5th)
2018 was Haas’ third season in the sport and it would turn out to be their strongest by quite a distance as well.
Nonetheless, it could and probably should have been even better for the team based at Banbury.
The disastrous pitstops in Melbourne which resulted in the double DNF cost them close to 20 points.
Their drivers also made a series of errors as well and that resulted in them losing out on 4th place to Renault in the championship. If they had a solid, dependable driver like Hulkenberg or Perez, it would have been a better year for them.
In a season where there were a few high points for the squad, their best moment was in Austria when they secured P4 and P5 in the race.
Haas’ close ties with Scuderia Ferrari certainly helped them this year and they’ll be hoping to have another strong season in the midfield come 2019.
Kevin Magnussen | 56 points (9th)
If the season had got halted after 10 races, Kevin Magnussen would have been one of the drivers of the season. Instead, it became quite average in the end.
A strong start at Albert Park saw him qualify a fantastic P5 following Ricciardo’s penalties. A botched stop cost him an almost certain top-5 in the race.
Most of the Dane’s points came in the first half of the season as he scored 39 points, with a best result of P5 at Bahrain and Austria. He was very much the team leader (39-12) and qualifying master (5-3) at the halfway point.
After the summer break, his form completely fell away, however. He struggled a lot in qualifying and got involved in some silly incidents too.
Italy: Fails to give Perez enough room as they enter Lesmo 1 which results in contact between the pair. A likely points finish lost.
Japan: A dangerous, late defensive move on Charles Leclerc in the early stages results in a puncture for Dane. He was extremely lucky to escape without a sanction after nearly causing a massive crash.
Controversial clashes with Gasly in Baku and Alonso at Silverstone are more examples of Magnussen getting himself into trouble and annoying his rivals. He certainly threads a fine line at times.
The stats for the second half of K-Mag's season do not make for pretty reading: He was outscored (17-25) and outqualified (3-8) by Grosjean as his year petered out in the end.
Magnussen’s only truly impressive weekends in the second part of the year were in Hungary (P7) and Russia. (P5 in qualifying; P8 in the race)
He’ll be looking for a more consistent level of performance next year after a great start to 2018 turned into quite a disappointing ending.
Romain Grosjean | 37 points (14th)
As has been the case throughout his spell in F1 so far, Romain Grosjean had a massively up-and-down season. He combined the sublime with the ridiculous.
Amazingly, the Frenchman only scored at one race in the opening half of the year; a brilliant P4 at Austria it must be said.
Grosjean was involved in a number of incidents accidents across the course of the 21 races:
Azerbaijan: Heading for a strong points finish until he crashes under Safety Car conditions. One of the most embarrassing smashes you are ever likely to see.
Spain: Following that accident in Baku, Grosjean caused chaos at the next event as he spun at T3 on the opening lap. He kept his foot in and veered across the circuit into Hulkenberg and Gasly. He ended their races and his own after all the cars sustained damage.
France: Shades of 2012 as he fails to leave sufficient room for Ocon who had part of his car alongside Grosjean’s on the run towards T1. The Frenchman in the Force India sustained damage.
USA: A silly collision with Leclerc at T12 on the opening lap sent the Sauber into a spin and damaged his own car. He retired on lap 2 because of it.
It would be wrong to say his season was a complete write-off, though. After a very tough opening half of 2018, he displayed tremendous mental resilience and drove some great races to save his year.
A late overtaking masterclass by the French driver meant he finished an excellent P6 at Hockenheim. He would have matched that result at Monza had he not got disqualified because of an issue with the floor on his car.
Grosjean outqualified Magnussen at the last five events to win the head-to-head 11-8 and clearly held a pace advantage over the Dane as the season went on.
On his day, Grosjean is a very, very quick driver, but he’s infuriatingly inconsistent.
Magnussen vs Grosjean
Qualifying head-to-head: 8-11