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Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

K-Mag previews this weekend's Australian Grand Prix, as he looks to back-up 10th place in Saudi Arabia with another points-score in Melbourne.

The return of Australia last season after an enforced absence was welcomed by the entire paddock. Confirmed as a race location until at least 2035, what does Melbourne bring to Formula 1 and why is it a place everyone loves to come back to?

“It’s a special vibe because Melbourne was the first race of the season for many years. It’s always more exciting because it’s the first race, everyone gets to see new cars and because of that it’s a special vibe. Australia is an awesome place to go, it’s often just a really nice trip overall.”

 

It was your very first race back in 2014, bringing everyone’s attention to your potential by scoring a podium. Nearly 10 years later, what’s different about the Kevin walking into the paddock today compared to back then?

“Many, many things. When I look back, I feel like I was a child back then. It’s basically a third of my life since then and a lot of stuff has happened since. It was a very intense weekend because having your first Formula 1 race weekend in itself is a big thing, a great experience on its own. Then, getting on the podium made it that much more special and certainly one of the weekends in my life that I’ll remember forever. 

“A podium would definitely mean more now than back then though. Back then, I was in a whole different mindset, as I came from junior categories where podiums, wins and championships were a regular thing. Getting on the podium in Formula 1 was a big thing but it was also something that I almost expected and anticipated, whereas reality showed later on that it wasn’t going to be the norm. Now, it would mean so much more because it’s not something I’m anticipating as such – I’m dreaming, hoping and working towards it – but it’s not something we can expect, so it would mean a million times more than it would back then.”

Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

From Jeddah to Melbourne – both offer the challenge of finding grip and unyielding walls. Do you like this combination or prefer “old-school” custom-built circuits with more options to find a racing line?

“I think the promoter has done a pretty good job with the new layout, but I don’t know if it’s better – I still really like the old track. It had real character to it and now it’s maybe a bit similar to other tracks we go to, but it’s become a faster and more flowing circuit which is fun in a Formula 1 car. I do like the old track a bit more.”

 

There’s an extended break after Melbourne due to race cancellation. How useful is a break in the early part of the season for driver mentality and fitness – would you rather get into a rhythm or is it a good time to spend with the team away from the track?

“The great thing is that you really get into a training routine – you have these three and a half weeks where you don’t have jet lag or any travel so every day you can train, full-time, in a routine. That’s the great thing about it and to have family time as well, for us dads in the paddock we enjoy it that little bit more.”

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