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

Round 2 of the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with Thursday practice at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit as teams prepared for Saturday’s 50-lap Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen opted to start on different tires to start FP1 – the session commencing at 16:30 local time. Hulkenberg began his day sampling the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium rubber, with a fastest time of 1:31.411 achieved on his second set of the medium compound.

Magnussen saw his VF-24 equipped with the White hard rubber – the Dane recording a 1:32.692 lap before his switch to mediums. A best effort of 1:31.577 placed him P20 directly behind his teammate, with both drivers using the session to work on their set-up.

Second practice was delayed by 10 minutes due to further checks needing to be done in the pit lane. Once underway, a full 60-minute session ensued under the lights around the 6.175-kilometer (3.836-mile), 27-turn circuit seaside circuit. Hulkenberg ran a baseline stint on the White hard tire to begin with before bolting on a set of soft tires for a qualifying sim – a 1:30.077 lap securing P18.

Magnussen started FP2 on the medium rubber before he too switched to softs. A 1:29.985 lap landed Magnussen P17 on the timesheet. Both drivers wrapped the session with long runs on high-fuel – Magnussen remaining on the softs with Hulkenberg moving to hards before returning to red rubber for the final minutes of the session.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team ran a total of 87 laps on Thursday across FP1 and FP2 – 45 by Hulkenberg and 42 by Magnussen.

Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Nico Hulkenberg:

“It’s very different to Bahrain – a different circuit, different sensation and feeling, but ultimately it’s still very quick here. I think from a running perspective it was fine, a day with no problems so that was good. The feeling in the car isn’t amazing, there’s room for improvement – especially over one lap – although I think we’re really close together in the midfield. Small things can make a big difference. It’s the normal learning process on the first day where we learn things and hopefully can put it all together tomorrow. Right now, I think it looks more challenging than seven days ago but you never know, there are very small margins.”


Kevin Magnussen:

“I think we had a decent day – nothing spectacular on pace – but again the car seems okay on long runs, more so than low-fuel. We need to pick up the pace a little bit there, so hopefully we can do that but it’s very tight, so even finding two-tenths and you’re close to the top 10. It’s so close, I think we could get close to the top 10 with an amazing lap and we hook up the balance in the car. We want to get a decent qualifying position, but the race is the important one so that’s still what we’re focusing on. It’s all to play for tomorrow.”


Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal:

“In Saudi we have a different level of downforce and a different speed of corners, so we expected a different challenge. Today went more or less as expected, I think we’ve got decent straight-line speed, we struggled a bit in the high-speed corners, but then the tires are working okay. As you can see the midfield is really tight so I think qualifying is going to be pretty challenging. We have to put everything together but with the temperature and everything else it’s not easy – it’s right on the edge – so that’s going to be challenging. The encouraging thing is Kevin’s high-fuel run was really good in FP2, so that’s a good baseline. I think if we can qualify in a decent position, we’ve got good race pace.”


Today's Data:

Event: Free Practice 1 & 2 for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Thursday March 7
Location: Jeddah Corniche Circuit, Jeddah
Layout: 6.175-kilometer (3.836-mile), 27-turn circuit
FP1 & FP2 Weather: Sunny / Clear
Drivers: Kevin Magnussen, Nico Hulkenberg


Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 19th overall (1:31.411), 19 laps
Magnussen: 20th overall (1:31.577), 18 laps
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:29.659)


Free Practice 2 (FP2) Rundown:

Magnussen: 17th overall (1:29.985), 24 laps
Hulkenberg: 18th overall (1:30.077), 26 laps
Fastest: Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin (1:28.827)

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