Kevin Magnussen previews the second race of the 2018 Formula 1 triple-header – the Austrian Grand prix.
Much is being made of this unprecedented three-race stretch of consecutive races, but you’ve said you love to race as much as possible. Does this slate of races actually play to your strengths since there is no let-off and you’re able to be in your racecar and with your engineers on a very consistent basis?
“I don’t really think about these three races being consecutive races. We just get on with the job and do our normal thing. Of course, it’s nice to be in the car often, and probably by the end of these three races, you might feel like you’re in a good rhythm, but we’ll see.”
You predicted that the Haas VF-18 would perform better in France and at other power circuits on the Formula One schedule. That seemed to be the case, and it seems to have given you a more real-world understanding of the updates the team brought to the Haas VF-18 in Canada. How has the car performed and what do you think that portends for the Austrian Grand Prix?
“We’ve shown that the car is good at the higher-speed circuits. We’ve shown our weakness is the lower-speed tracks, like Monaco and Canada, and probably Singapore will be challenging as well. We’ll just have to work on those weaknesses. The car is working well at most of the other circuits.”
How helpful is it to have back-to-back grands prix where the same tire compounds are being used? Or in this case, is there carryover in tire data between France and Austria since the tires used in France were thinner compared to the ones you’ll use in Austria?
“We’re obviously learning every weekend, and trying to use what we’ve learned at the next race. Each track is different, and you’re going to have to learn about the tires every time.”
You’ve described the Red Bull Ring as a short, roller-coaster ride? Despite its relatively short length, you’re able to generate some significant speed. Is the Red Bull Ring kind of your ideal track, where you can push the limits time after time in search of more and more speed?
“The Red Bull Ring is a good little circuit. It’s a little bit unique. It’s a very small area. It kind of reminds me of a go-kart track in that you can basically see the whole track from the grandstands. It’s quite nice and compact, but still with some fast corners and long straights, giving some opportunities to overtake. When I’ve raced there, it’s been entertaining. It’s a fun little track.”
What is your favourite part of the Red Bull Ring?
“I would say turns eight and nine – the last two corners of the track, they’re cool. They’re challenging with the off-camber, then the on-camber. First, in turn eight, the track leans to the outside, then at turn nine, it leans to the inside. It’s pretty challenging.”
Explain a lap around the Red Bull Ring, especially now after having competed there with the faster, current-generation car.
“It’s like a short rollercoaster ride.”