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Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher
Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher

Haas F1 Team will return to action after the summer recess at the Belgian Grand Prix, Round 14 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps can trace its history back to the immediate aftermath of the First World War. The triangle of public routes linking the villages of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot were used for a fast and sweeping circuit that stretched out across 14km of undulating Belgian countryside.

It was used for the Belgian Grand Prix in Formula 1’s inaugural season in 1950 but its dangerous nature drew criticism and by the end of the 1960s it had become an outdated relic. Formula 1 moved its Belgian Grand Prix to Nivelles and Zolder before eventually returning to a reprofiled Spa-Francorchamps in 1983, where it has since remained. 

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen at La Source at the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix.

The circuit remains one of Formula 1’s finest, featuring several iconic corners, most notably the steep rise through Eau Rouge/Raidillon, the high-speed Pouhon and Blanchimont corners, and the twisty Bus Stop chicane. It requires a set-up compromise, with the first and third sectors almost entirely dependent on top-end speed, segmented by a second sector that is reliant on downforce.

Wet weather can also influence proceedings, as demonstrated at the grand prix in 2021, when rain led to Formula 1’s shortest-ever race taking place. Since then circuit officials have acted; while the layout has not been altered several run-off areas have been reprofiled for safety purposes, with gravel traps reintroduced at some corners. At 7km, it is the longest circuit on Formula 1’s current calendar. 

Haas F1 Team racers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher both have vast experience of Spa-Francorchamps. Magnussen has participated in six Belgian grands prix, including four with Haas F1 Team, while Schumacher made his Belgian Grand Prix debut in 2021, having previously thrived at the circuit in FIA Formula 2 and Formula 3. 

Haas F1 Team enters the next phase of the season seventh in the Constructors’ Championship on 34 points (Magnussen 11th, 22 points; Schumacher 15th, 12 points).

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team
Guenther Steiner – Team Principal

What were the highlights from your time off during the mandatory FIA shutdown and do you feel re-charged ahead of the second part of the 2022 season?

“My highlight was not doing anything for a week – I went to the seaside with my family and enjoyed that. I also went to the wedding of our Team Manager, which was a big party in Scotland. I feel I’m recharged now, and we’ve got some more races to go before the end of the season and hopefully we can come back strong.”


The VF-22 upgrade package that was sampled at the Hungarian Grand Prix just before the break – what was the early feedback and review from Kevin and the team, despite the relatively small data sampling from just one race weekend?

“We could see that the on-car numbers were corelating to the wind tunnel numbers, which is always a good sign, and now we have to get the best out of it in lap time. Before the shutdown, the team looked at the data closely and will do more now they’re back from the break but at the moment it looks good and hopefully we can better our lap time.”


Will both Kevin and Mick run the full upgrade package on their VF-22’s at the Belgian Grand Prix?

“Yes, both cars will have the upgrade package. We had one kit ready before the shutdown so we said we’ll put it on one car to collect some data so when we’re back, we have that data and now we can already work on the set-up, getting out in Spa straightaway.” 

Guenther Steiner, Haas F1 Team

What are the main objectives for the team over the nine remaining races in the 2022 season? Have you re-adjusted targets based on the strong showing of the VF-22?

“We haven’t readjusted, we are just back to where we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, now being in seventh. Hopefully we can keep this position in the championship, that’s battle number one. Battle number two is trying to get to sixth, but let’s see. We will always do our best and try to improve or at least not fall back.”


Finally, the team announced that Antonio Giovinazzi will run a couple of FP1 sessions in Italy and in the United States. Can you share the background to this opportunity coming around for Antonio?

“Antonio is the reserve driver of Ferrari and they asked us if he could be in the car just to refresh him. When he gets in the car, he will have finished his Formula E season so there are no distractions for him anymore and I think he will attend all the races for Ferrari as reserve driver. Knowing our relationship with Ferrari, we’re more than happy to do this. They’re a big help in what we are doing, and I think it’s a good opportunity for Antonio to put him back in the spotlight, going out in FP1. He’s been out of Formula 1 for a year now, running in Formula E, so let’s see what he can do in FP1 so at least he can get accustomed again to the latest specification Formula 1 car.”

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