• Kevin Magnussen Q&A: French Grand Prix

Kevin Magnussen Q&A: French Grand Prix

We’re now a third of the way through the 2019 season. Can you provide an assessment of where Rich Energy Haas F1 Team stands in relation to your goals and where it stands in relation to its counterparts?

“I think it’s fair to say we’d hoped for more points than we’ve scored. Since we have such a good car, it’s disappointing not to have scored more points than we have. At least it’s good to know we have great potential in the car and we’ve proved that many times in qualifying. We just need to work harder to better our understanding of the tires for the races.”

The team’s last series of upgrades to its Haas VF-19s came in early May at the Spanish Grand Prix. How have they performed, or after competing at back-to-back city circuits in Monaco and Montreal, will France be a truer test of how the upgrades are performing?

“The upgrades that we’ve been bringing have been positive. They’ve been steps forward and have worked as expected. I think France will be similar to those other races where the car has performed well, at least in qualifying conditions.” 

You’re coming up on a slate of five races in seven weeks, beginning with back-to-back grands prix in France and Austria. Is this the make-or-break part of the season for teams?

“I don’t know if it’s the make-or-break part, but it’s certainly an intense part of the season where a lot of points are won or lost. We’re obviously hoping to win a lot of points.”

Beyond the continued understanding of this year’s Pirelli tire lineup, is there a specific area of improvement you’re targeting in these next few races?

“Hopefully, we’re going to be able to perform as well in the races as we are in qualifying.”

Last year’s French Grand Prix proved to be the starting point of an excellent summer stretch for you. You finished sixth and proceeded to score points in four of the next five races, with a high of fifth in Austria. Did you find something specific during that stretch of races that worked for you or was it a matter of momentum, where one good race weekend made for subsequent good race weekends?

“It’s hard to say why it went well last year, but we’re positive going into these European races. We know we have a great car, so hopefully looking ahead we’re going to be able to get lots of points from those races. We know the car from last year could do it and we have some good data to compare with, so hopefully we can repeat those good results.”