Magnussen: Our car is competitive at most places now

Magnussen: Our car is competitive at most places now

Kevin Magnussen
photo: Haas

Kevin Magnussen did not get any points in the German Grand prix but he still had almost double the points of his teammate, Romain Grosjean. The Dane previews the race in Hungary where he expects Haas to be competitive.

With a run of three-straight grands prix, along with this back-to-back set of races in Germany and Hungary, how important is the summer shutdown for team personnel?

“I think it’ll be really good for the guys, especially the guys in the garage, to get some time off. They’re working extremely hard, certainly harder than the rest of us, especially us drivers. Seriously, it will be well appreciated from their side and, of course, we’ll enjoy some time off as well. We’ll be with friends and family back in our home countries.”

What are your expectations for Hungary? Does the tighter track pose more of a challenge for Haas F1 Team?

“We’ll see when we get there. Our car should be competitive. It is at most places now. Of course, there’s going to be tracks where it’s a bit less competitive for us than others, but we just need to maximize everything.”

The Hungaroring has historically been known as a slower racetrack because of its tight layout, but did that change last year because of the speeds you’re able to achieve in the corners with these faster, current-generation cars?

“It’s still relative to the other tracks – a slower track – but it is definitely faster with the higher-downforce cars.”

You’re constantly turning the wheel at the Hungaroring and with the slower speeds, very little air flows into the car. Combined with the normally high temperatures experienced in Budapest, how physically demanding is the Hungarian Grand Prix?

“It’s a pretty physical track. You’re turning all the time. You don’t get much time off on the straights, because there’s a bend, or the straight is just short. It’s a bit like a go-kart track. You don’t get a lot of time to relax on the straights.”

How difficult is it to overtake at the Hungaroring and where are the overtaking opportunities?

“Overtaking in Hungary is particularly difficult, so hopefully we can be strong in qualifying there.”

A lot of grip, a lot of braking and a lot of high-energy demands all conspire against tires at the Hungaroring. How do you manage the tires and get the most out of them?

“You try and keep the rear tires – the tire surface temperature – in control with the throttle. You manage those temperatures as well as you can. That’s the main thing.”

Do you have any milestones or moments from your junior career that you enjoyed at the Hungaroring?

“I won races there in World Series by Renault. I’ve had some good races there.”

What is your favourite part of the Hungaroring?

“I’d say turns eight to 11. That section there is pretty cool. It’s high speed with a change of direction.”

Explain a lap around the Hungaroring, especially now after having competed there with the faster, current-generation car.

“It’s a little, twisty, tricky circuit.”