Haas' introduction of a long-overdue update ahead of the United States Grand Prix failed to have the galvanising effect on its VF-23 as had been expected.
Due to a feeling of comfort for the drivers, it culminated with Nico Hulkenberg reverting back to the old spec for the final two races in Las Vegas and Abu Dhabi, whilst Magnussen ran the new spec for those two grands prix.
Magnussen has revealed, though, that he would have preferred to have joined Hulkenberg in running the pre-upgraded car at the Yas Marina Circuit, but instead was forced to continue with the newer version to allow the team to continue to gather data ahead of 2024.
With a degree of understatement, Magnussen described his race as a “disappointing day…but not really unexpected with the package we're running”.
He added: “It might be hard for you guys (the media) to believe, but we didn't expect it to be better. I'd be lying if I said I was hoping something unexpected would come from it. It didn't. That was expected.”
Trying to find a positive from the season from which he collected just three points, Magnussen said: “We took a lot of learning. Both Nico and I got a good feeling about this concept of car.
“There were some interesting things, like the consistency of the front end, and with this setup, or with this concept, it's got a lot less downforce.
“So the fact I could qualify ahead of him in Las Vegas, not that far from him in Abu Dhabi, with the amount of downforce we're missing on that package, it shows some of the parts are good, so we can work with that, and hopefully take a big step next year.”
At least in splitting the drivers on the package for the two races, the team was able to learn considerably more than if they had both run the new spec, in particular.
For the final race, though, Magnussen would have preferred joining Hulkenberg and reverting back but appreciated why that was not possible.
“We've learned,” confirmed Magnussen. “It was good to get some track information from this type of car. Although it wasn't better, I think it was good we ran the two cars next to each other.
“Over the two races, I would have liked maybe just one race with that (the new spec) and then go back to the old one but logistically that wasn't possible, so I guess I took one for the team here, but happy to do that and look forward to next year.”
Magnussen stated he wanted the older car on the simple basis that it was “quicker”, even if he lacked the comfort that was missing all season from his perspective.
“The feeling itself is better with the new one,” said Magnussen. “I've struggled with the old car all year. Me particularly, I've been struggling with it.
“Then I got onto this new car that helped me a lot. When both me and Nico were running it, I seemed to be happier with it than he was.
“He went back to the old spec, and I stuck with the new just to collect this data. That was it really. I guess it would have been slightly better with the old package, but more just for my ego than anything else.”