Haas boss Guenther Steiner says Kevin Magnussen is showing what he can do with 'first good car'

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Haas boss Guenther Steiner says 2018 is the first opportunity Kevin Magnussen has had to showcase his true racing talent.

Magnussen has been one of the standout performers this season and has scored all of the American team's 27 points, most recently holding off Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas on the final lap to finish sixth in France. After single-season stints with McLaren (2014) and Renault (2016), Magnussen signed a multi-year deal with Haas for the start of 2017.

The Danish driver has comprehensively out-performed Romain Grosjean so far this season after finishing behind the Frenchman in their first year together.

When asked if he had an explanation for why Magnussen's performances have been so good, Steiner said: "I think it's just the confidence.

"I personally think he's in a good spot with his thinking, with his driving, everything. He's confident, he knows the team, he has nothing to worry there, he doesn't think about it, he trusts everybody, he's got a good car available."

The former McLaren junior driver joined the Working team as the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion and scored a debut podium at the Australian Grand Prix, but struggled to replicate that form in what proved to be a difficult year for the team. After a year on the sidelines he joined Renault, but it was a rebuilding season for the French manufacturer as it returned to full factory status on the eve of 2016.

Steiner thinks Magnussen now has the car to show the talent which got him onto the McLaren junior programme in the first place.

"He just does what I think we all knew years ago that he can do. I think it's the first time that in F1 he can show how good a driver he is. I think he showed it when he drove in F3 and all the minor series how good he is. I think it's the first time he had a real chance with a good car, or a decent car, to show what he can do and that's what it is.

"I find it quite simple why it is happening. He's just showing what he can do. Everything around him works like this, he's comfortable and that is what the outcome is. It's simpler than we all think it is."

Both Magnussen and Grosjean are in the final year of their Haas contracts. Steiner has made it clear to the media he has no intention of starting contract negotiations for 2019 until after the summer break, in order to avoid distractions during the busy spell of races leading up to August.