Gunther Steiner says he unsure why Kevin Magnussen often gets labelled "wild" after the 2018 season. The Haas driver came under-fire from high-profile drivers for his aggressive driving style, but Steiner doesn't believe it's an accurate representation.
Magnussen's most famous conflict came with Fernando Alonso after the rivals tangled in the final stages of Q2 in Italy. The Dane finished two places ahead of Alonso at the end of the season, and Steiner was impressed enough to award a new contract.
"It's like I think he got somehow such a bad rep and the perception is out there he's this guy which is just wild. Which is wrong. Because look at the statistics. We must be objective. Not subjective. Objective is how many penalties has he got or not," Steiner told Motorsport.
"There is this thing out there that Kevin Magnussen's second half of the season always is bad," he added. "Again, where is this coming from?
"He has done some good races in the second half of the season this year. Was he as good as the first half this season? No. But I would not jump to the conclusion that it has to be like this, you know. I don't think he is as bad as people make him out to be. He's a racer. He drives. He fights for his territory."
Haas lost out in the battle for fourth with Renault this season. Had Magnussen's teammate Romain Grosjean made fewer mistakes and been more consistent in the early part of the year, the team probably would have beaten their rivals.
"If you speak with him, speak about the key. He lost the key, he found the key. I don't know what it is and that's honest, you know. And he seems to be and he said: I found the key again. Since then it was good," Steiner added about his other driver.