Haas F1’s Kevin Magnussen rarely goes unnoticed, and the same goes for his results. Ninth in the championship, currently with 19 points, he’s determined to show all of his potential this season. We sit down with the 25-year-old to get to know more about the competitive Dane behind the wheel of the VF-18.
Your team principal Guenther Steiner mentioned you showing a lot of confidence this year. Do you have the feeling of being in the best moment of your career?
I’m certainly enjoying my time a lot. I feel confident in this team, and I’m having a lot of fun here, sincerely. Besides, I feel free to explore my limits and also grow as a driver.
Talking about exploring your limits, what would you say is the thing you like the most about the current car of Haas F1?
The level of downforce, because it makes things really exciting, especially in the fastest corners. With the amount of speed you have there, the VF-18 makes the experience simply breath-taking.
Such downforce comes with a price, and some drivers have complained about struggling with getting the tyres warm. Is it a cause of concern at Haas F1?
It depends on the circuit. Understanding the tyres is an aspect we have definitely improved upon this season. We have improved a lot, actually.
With the amount of speed you have there, the VF-18 makes the experience simply breath-taking.
You have 19 points this season so far, the same tally you got last season. Do you see yourself in a position to finish the season in the top 10?
Yes, I do think so. The performance is there to do that. It’s not going to be easy, but I do believe the car is good enough to achieve it.
So you do believe Haas F1 is able to fight neck-and-neck against teams like Force India and Toro Rosso?
Absolutely. I think we’re better than those teams at the moment. We’re looking at Renault and McLaren. I think they are our main competitors now. Being eighth in the constructor’s championship, we need to get back to a natural position, which I feel is at least sixth, considering the performance that we have. I hope that we can achieve that by the end of the season – as I’ve mentioned already, our car truly deserves that.
To make the most out of the team, it’s important to have a good atmosphere within the outfit. How’s your relationship with Romain Grosjean?
I think it’s good. The relationship with your teammate is always crucially important. You’re working on the same car, you’re trying to develop the same machine, so whatever you do, that might affect the development of the car, and your teammate knows it as well. Every Formula 1 racer wants to have a strong teammate that can drive the development well.
The new calendar of Formula 1 is likely to come with several new circuits, among them, Miami. Considering how essential the tyres are this season, do you think a race in Florida would be even trickier due to the hot weather?
It would be a tough race for sure, because you have the temperature that’s making matters much more complicated… But it should be nice. We see it as another challenge.
Denmark is also likely to hold a Grand Prix; do you think you’d have additional pressure racing there?
I don’t think so. Once you get there and start with the race, you forget where you are. But it’d be really amazing to have a race in Denmark! I really hope it happens, as I believe it would be great for the country and I think most Danish residents would be eternally proud of it.
This season is quite hectic, especially before the summer break, when we’ll have three races in a row. Do you change your preparation when the calendar gets that tight?
I prepare in the same way as for any other race. It’s just about trying to keep fit, and you’re your energy levels as high as possible. Indeed, I think it’ll be fine. It’s something I enjoy doing a lot, and I’m looking forward to this period because it’ll result in some very exciting competition, as well as some intense racing, obviously.