Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Hungaroring, 2019

Magnussen: I have to learn a new car every time I go out

2019 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen is baffled by the performance of his Haas VF-19, which he says can vary in performance by up to a second between runs.

Haas is running a different aerodynamic specification on its cars for the third race in a row. Romain Grosjean is using its original aerodynamic specification while Magnussen continues with the updates hardware, which he says is more variable in its performance.

“We knew this package had those characteristics,” said Magnussen. “But it’s tough when you qualify fourth in Q1, to then not make it to Q3.

“Every lap when you go out you have to learn a new car. It was literally one second slower from one run to another. Q1 run two I did 16.1, and then Q2 run one I did 17.1. And I didn’t have any mistakes or anything, just went through turn one on that second lap and felt no grip.”

Magnussen says the car’s ability to get its tyres into the correct operating window appears to be very sensitive to three particular variables. “We don’t know which of those – the wind, temperature or the out-lap – put us out of the window. But we know it went out of the window.

“We can see probably the wind has the biggest effect but I don’t really understand how it can be so crazy.”

The car’s fluctuating form means Magnussen can only “hope for the best” in the race, he says.

“The race pace hasn’t been so bad. But I have no idea. We have times when I’m one second faster than Romain. I’m not one second faster than him.

“Then we get other times when I’m half a second or a second slower. So the variation is so big that there’s no chance of having any types of predictions for the race. Just hope for the best and try and learn.”

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3 comments on “Magnussen: I have to learn a new car every time I go out”

  1. I guess that’s the problem if you don’t build your own car in it’s entirety you don’t understand all the concepts. Half a season and they’ve literally made no progress, this looks like a fundamental issue and their season is done.

  2. Haas has to blow all their development budget on reinforced suspensions and wheel structures, so it’s not a surprise.

  3. John Richards (@legardforpresident)
    5th August 2019, 4:32

    Haas are digging themselves into a hole here. They’ve got two drivers starved of affection who just want to make a name for themselves and not the team. Haas are creating two ‘mini’ aero packages instead of just one and that’s going to get them nowhere. They need to either regroup after the summer break and decide on one setup or ditch these toxic drivers for 2020 and start anew. I love RoGro and KMag so much. But they need to grow up! RoGro especially.

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