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

Kevin Magnussen looks ahead to this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix, as he returns to Formula 1 after a year out.

You return at a poignant moment for the sport, with the introduction of a new set of regulations and radically different looking cars. What’s your early assessment of your time behind the wheel of the VF-22 and what are the main differences you’ve experienced? 

“First of all, I think it’s good that Formula 1 has moved in a direction that is more accommodating to close racing. It’s also good timing for me to come back into Formula 1 after a year out and that everyone is having to adapt to these new cars. It fits quite nicely, and I would say lucky timing. Driving them, they’re still very fast. They have a lot of downforce. You can feel that they’re heavier but mainly changing direction at slow speed with the grip, it’s a bit lower, but still very fun to drive and it still feels like a Formula 1 car.” 

How quickly can you get up to speed with the new car, new processes, and new members of the team?

“Coming back to the team felt very natural. There are new faces in the team which is exciting and good to see as it shows that the team has been growing since I left. You can really feel that there is an upwards trend of growth in the team which is positive and just the atmosphere was super good. Everyone is excited for this new season.”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team

You’ve only had a few days of working with Mick, but how is your early working relationship and did you follow his progress during his rookie season?  

“I’ve only had a few days to get to know Mick. Straight away it feels like he’s a really cool guy, down to earth and obviously a massive talent. I did of course follow his progress during last season – I think he did what he could with a difficult car – and got the car into Q2 a couple of times which was impressive. I’m looking forward to working with him this year.”

The Bahrain Grand Prix is Round 1 of a record-breaking 23 race calendar, what are your objectives for this weekend, and do you think we’ll see a true reflection of the pecking order early on?

“Our objectives for this weekend are – first of all with these new cars - my biggest worry is not finishing the race. I think it’s important to get off to a solid start rather than an explosive one. Of course, it would be nice to get a super good result and that’s 100 percent what we’re gunning for but most importantly it’s to get a good start, some foundation to work from for the rest of the season. In terms of pecking order, I think it’s always hard to say even after the first race. You get a much clearer idea after the first race over winter testing, but it does tend to change quite a lot after the first race. We’ll see, I’m excited!”

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