Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Magnussen ‘very optimistic Haas have made very big steps’

2020 F1 season

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Kevin Magnussen says he is encouraged by the progress Haas showed in winter testing despite the team’s experience of being misled by its performance last year.

“I think we learned quite a bit from last season,” said Magnussen in an interview for the official F1 website. “In winter testing last season we were pretty optimistic and we had good reason to be very optimistic because the car was handling very well and we did some really competitive lap times. Everything was looking very good.

“So we went into the first race with with a lot of optimism and even in the first race we got ‘best of the rest’ in P6. So there was no signs of any problems, and then they showed later on.

“This year we’re taking a much more quiet approach, trying to stay a lot more humble and take it one day at a time. I know we learned a lot last year and it seems in winter testing that the weakness that we surely were able to see with last year’s were not there on this year’s car.

“Who knows whether we made some new problems, we’ll have to wait and see. But I’m very optimistic that we’ve made very big steps forward.”

Magnussen described his disappointment at experiencing the cancellation of the season-opening race in Australia, but said the decision not to go ahead with the race had been correct.

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“It was terrible, you got to drive the car in Barcelona and you were getting pumped for the season. And then travelling to Australia, spending Thursday at the track, talking to all the engineers about practice on Friday and really just getting ready. And going to bed on Thursday evening, then waking up on Friday ready to go.

“Obviously we had some feeling there was something going on. But still, waking up on Friday, ready to go to the track and then last minute getting told not to come in was pretty disappointing. But of course the right decision and it was good we didn’t do it and took care of everyone. I think we did the right thing, but still very disappointing for us.”

The 27-year-old is in isolation with his wife but is unable to visit his mother who had a pre-existing health condition.

“My mother had cancer a few years back and her immune system is very, very bad,” he said. “So I haven’t been able to see her. And also grandparents and stuff, you’ve just got to stay away from them.

“So that’s very frustrating for me, but for them as well, the older part of the family are having to really be alone in the time. So it’s pretty tough for them.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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