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2017 F1

We have the best driver pairing – Haas F1

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Team boss Gunther Steiner has defended Haas’ 2017 driver lineup.

Ahead of the season, the new American outfit replaced ousted 2016 driver Esteban Gutierrez with Renault refugee Kevin Magnussen.

The Dane joins existing Haas driver Romain Grosjean, who qualified sixth in Melbourne. But Magnussen had a much less impressive start, and neither finished the race.

But Haas boss Steiner told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet: “I feel we have the best driver pairing we can get in our position.

“We have two very good drivers,” he added. “Good people, good racers. Now we just need to see how good the car is, and what we can get out of it.”

Steiner said Swiss-Frenchman Grosjean alongside Magnussen also works well from a chemistry point of view.

“We all know that Romain is very emotional,” he said. “Everyone can tell that from the radio communication. Kevin is much less emotional. He is Scandinavian, but as individuals they are very different as well.

“But I see no problems between the pair of them. My hope is that they will push each other,” Steiner added.

After Australia, team owner Gene Haas said he is also happy with the new pairing, even though Magnussen made costly mistakes in qualifying.

“They are an interesting pairing,” said the American. “Qualifying showed that.

“Kevin really wanted to put in a good lap and was willing to push the car to achieve it.

“We don’t know how fast he would have been because he made a mistake, but I think Grosjean needs to be pushed and I think Kevin will be able to do that,” Haas added.

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