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Magnussen says Alonso "annoyed" Haas beating McLaren

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Magnussen says Alonso "annoyed" Haas beating McLaren
By:
Mar 24, 2018, 11:42 AM

Kevin Magnussen says Fernando Alonso's comments about the Haas F1 car being a "Ferrari replica" stem from frustration that McLaren is being outpaced by one of the smallest teams on the grid.

Romain Grosjean, Haas VF-18
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari, in the garage
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari, in the garage
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-18 Ferrari, in the garage

Alonso likened the speedy Haas to a replica of last year's Ferrari, referencing the team's technical alliance with the Scuderia and implying that it was directly related to Haas' upswing in form through testing and the early part of the first grand prix weekend of the year.

Having today secured fifth on the grid, six spots clear of Alonso, Magnussen took his opportunity to hit back, claiming Alonso is annoyed to be behind the Haas drivers given McLaren's comparative resources.

"He's annoyed that we're in front," said Magnussen. "I wonder why? I've been to McLaren. I've raced for that team and seen the infrastructure.

"Compared to this, it must be annoying. I'm really proud of the team, and impressed. We've got a car that's competitive here, it's the fourth best car on the grid this weekend.

"This team is the smallest on the grid, and if not the lowest then one of the lowest budgets and the least amount of people and resources. And yet we've got the fourth best car on this track in qualifying.

"That's impressive, I'm impressed by that."

Haas boss Gunther Steiner, meanwhile, shrugged off the two-time world champion's jibe.

"They've got their own opinion," he told Motorsport.com.

"They don't have all the information, and making statement like this without the information is a little bit of a case of before you speak, you should know what you talk about.

"They can have their opinion, everybody's free to have one. And I've got my opinion."

Magnussen's teammate Romain Grosjean acknowledged that the technology partnership meant the Haas would have some resemblance to the Ferrari but agreed Alonso's comments were unfair.

"We're using the same gearbox, the same suspension, everyone knows that the suspension is defining a lot of the flow so of course there's going to be similarities," said Grosjean.

"But we're doing our own car and if we were Ferrari B we'd be up there with them.

"It's not true and it's not nice for the people who work at Haas and who produced the Haas F1 VF-18."

See how they line up in Melbourne...

McLaren/Renault experience brings perspective

Staring down the barrel of a tight midfield battle with Renault and McLaren, Magnussen reckons that having worked with both outfits gives him perspective on just how hard it will be to keep them at bay for the entire season.

"It's going to be a massive challenge," he added. "I say those comments with a smile on my face, but it's going to be very very difficult.

"I've been to those teams, I have huge respect for them and I know what they are capable of. It's not going to be easy to out-perform them.

"It's going to be very difficult to have a better season than them and beat them in the championship.

"All I can say is, at the moment, at this track, in this qualifying, we had a better package. That shows that it can be done.

"But we're now in the season, there's a lot of things to do now. I wouldn't be surprised if they're going to be very very strong from now on and catch up quickly.

"Our job is capitalise as well as we can on this right now, and then hang onto it."

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