The US-owned team has struggled for race performance for most of the season, although Magnussen managed to bag a point for 10th place in Singapore.
However the Japanese GP again saw the cars slip down the order, with Magnussen compromised by contact from Sergio Perez, and his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg by the need to do a three-stop strategy. They finished 14th and 15th, with the German ahead.
Magnussen agreed that the next race in Qatar will also be difficult while the team waits for the Austin updates.
“It’s survival mode until then,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com about the upcoming package.
“We got a point in Singapore with this car. So that track suited our car better.
“There’s always reasons to try our best, and we will in Qatar as well. I’ve never been there, but it’s a very fast track, in a way a little bit like this track, long, flowing fast corners. It’s not really our track.”
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Regarding his race in Suzuka, the Dane said: “I think qualifying for myself personally was positive, but still P15 wasn’t satisfactory. So I think I’m just trying to focus on what I can do, and making sure I do the things that are in my control well.”
Haas team principal Guenther Steiner insisted that there were still positives to be drawn from the Japanese GP weekend.
“We know where we are, and I think we executed what we have got as well as you can,” he told Motorsport.com.
“The pit stops were very good, the best ones this year, and we had five of them.
“Obviously we tried with Nico a three-stop, because he didn’t have two sets of hard tyres, and he couldn’t do it on a two-stop. We just did what we could with the car.
“And I think we got very close to the AlphaTauris in the end, and Kevin without having the spin inflicted by Perez, maybe he could have fought them. Maybe and if doesn’t give you anything, but in the end, we know where we are.
“And hopefully the package works in Austin. And if it doesn’t work, at least we learn something for next year.”
Haas will have just five races with the updated car, and Steiner conceded that it won’t have much time to optimise the package.
“Absolutely, and we had very little time to develop it,” he said.
“And when we decided we do it, we were wide open just to bring it to Austin to have as many races as possible.
“I’m not just trying to be careful. I’m just saying hopefully it works, and it gives us what we think it gives. And if it doesn’t do that one it does the other thing, helping us for next year.”