Kevin Magnussen interviewed by ŚwiatWyścigów.pl
The beginnings of the Haas F1 Team might be one of the greatest success stories of the modern Formula 1. While the other newcomers have collapsed, the American outfit has improved upon their strong first year and are likely to do it again in 2018. During the preseason testing in Barcelona, ŚwiatWyścigów.pl’s Roksana Ćwik got to talk with their driver Kevin Magnussen.
Kevin, after the solid testing do you feel confident ahead of Melbourne?
Well, it is still quite early, but the initial feeling of the car is quite good and nothing really negative stood out.
What effect did the weather have on your testing programme?
We had to delay everything and prioritise what had to be done first.
Some drivers said that the new tarmac makes it difficult to tell how the cars have improved…
I agree that it is very different and it becomes difficult to read the car and what are the performance levels throughout the field. We really have to wait until the first few races to get a good understanding.
Haas is the newest team in the paddock. How did it evolve year on year?
It is growing. We are getting more and more people onboard, expanding as a team and learn from our experiences. I would say we are getting stronger every day.
Having worked with some bigger teams, how can you add to the Haas’ development?
I have gained some experience over the years from working in different teams but every team is different and does things in different ways. I think I have been able to influence the development of the car and I can now trust that the team can design and build a competitive machine.
How does this team compare to some of the factory outfits?
Obviously the budget and size are smaller and the funding comes from a different source. The works teams have a lot more people working in the factories, but I think we do well with what we have.
If you could meet the Günther Steiner’s target of being within 1 second of Ferrari, what would be the expectation for the season?
Being inside 1 second of the leading group would mean fighting of the 4th place in the championship but I do not know if we will be able to achieve this target. I would be very happy if that was the case but maybe that was a little too ambitious of a statement.
You have shared a desire of racing with your dad and came close to entering the Rolex 24. Is this something that you want to happen sooner rather than later?
Yes, I would love to race with my dad. It is something that we have talked about and want to do, but it is not easy to make it work, because of our existing programmes. However, if we get a chance, we will do it.
So, if that opportunity would come at the expense of a F1 race?
No, because Formula 1 is my first priority. If it was not, then I could go and do whatever I wanted, but that is not the case at the moment.
Would you prefer to compete against him or share the same car?
I would love to race with him, it is an experience that I would really like to do.
Do you watch his races?
Yes, I watch them when I get a chance. Obviously I follow the series and talk with my dad quite often.
There is an ongoing topic of having a F1 race in Copenhagen. How important would it be to have a home race?
I would love to race in Denmark and compete in front of my home crowd. It would be great for Denmark too.
Last year some drivers have commented on your driving. Is it the trait of the new cars, that the moves have to be more aggressive?
I think you are right. It has become more difficult to overtake. In some cases you have to take more risk than before, when you could just drive past someone using a DRS, without having to outbrake them.
The last question is a little borderline. Do you still talk with Nico Hülkenberg?
We are competitors and do not need to socialise.