Kevin Magnussen says Haas Formula 1 teammate Romain Grosjean is faster than Jenson Button “on his day” and is providing better benchmark for comparison than 2016 Renault teammate Jolyon Palmer.
Having left the Renault works F1 team at the end of last season to join Haas, Magnussen has enjoyed a strong start to 2017 – scoring points in three races, including a season’s best seventh at the recent Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
That result put Magnussen one place above Grosjean in the drivers’ championship.
Magnussen’s qualifying form has also improved after a shaky start. He has outqualified Grosjean for three of the past five races, though has yet to make Q3 in eight attempts, while his teammate has made the top 10 on three occasions.
Magnussen says Grosjean’s raw speed over one lap compares favourably to 2009 world champion Jenson Button, who partnered Magnussen at for Magnussen’s 2014 rookie F1 season.
Magnussen says that is helping him improve.
“He’s got everything I need from a teammate,” Magnussen said of Grosjean. “Raw speed, so I can compare and learn from him, and he’s got experience as well.
“So for me he is a very good teammate – perhaps on his day faster than Jenson, but Jenson was very consistent.”
Magnussen said recently that Haas provides a “healthier” environment than or Renault, and he also feels he is benefitting from having a proven teammate on the other side of the garage again.
“You only have your teammate to compare and to show yourself and prove yourself [against],” Magnussen added.
“It’s much better having a proven teammate who has a good reputation and is known to be very quick, so it’s good to have him [Grosjean].”