Kevin Magnussen says his deficit to Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg in qualifying is mainly due to the German driver’s ability to drive around the issues impacting the team’s VF-23.

Magnussen and Hulkenberg have both delivered a pair of top-ten finishes to their team in twelve races, the Danish driver scoring a point in Saudi Arabia and in Miami.

On occasion, both drivers have showcased in qualifying the potential of Haas’ VF-23. But Hulkenberg has generally fared better than the Dane on Saturdays.

On Sundays however, Haas chronic tyre degradation issues have too often conspired to undermine the team’s efforts on race day.

Magnussen reckons that his teammate has a better grasp on the specific handling characteristics of the US outfit’s contender.

“In terms of the pace, it’s not like I have this problem like: ‘I just can’t drive this car’,” Magnussen explained, quoted by RacingNews365.

“On Sunday, it’s always fine. It’s just [that] one lap [in qualifying], sometimes I struggle to get it out [of the car].

“I have had good qualifyings this year. I qualified P4 in Miami so it’s not like I can’t do it ever.

“But he seems to be able to drive around the issue a little more often, but I think I’m turning it around.”

Over the summer, Haas’ drivers and engineers have spared no effort to try and solve the tyre degradation conundrum that has weighed so heavily on the team’s performance in race trim.

As Haas continues to work hard to iron out its cars’ problem, Magnussen believes that the team’s ability to rely on Hulkenberg’s vast experience – and his own – is a big asset.

“It’s good to have someone with that much experience when you’re trying to develop a car,” he said.

“When you have an issue and you need a new direction, it’s good to have all this experience in the team.”

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