Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Albert Park, 2022

Magnussen hopes Albert Park changes do not prove too “over the top”

2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen says he supports the track changes made to the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne but hopes they will not make overtaking “too easy”.

The street circuit around public roads that circle Albert Park just south of downtown Melbourne city has been heavily revised for its return to the Formula 1 calendar in 2022. Many corners have been re-profiled or made wider, with the old turn nine and ten chicane in the second sector bypassed completely.

Magnussen says he is in favour of circuits being modified in a bid to improve racing, but admits to having some concerns over whether the changes will go too far in making overtaking easier.

“I had the same thought when I saw the layout on this track that maybe some of it was over the top, maybe,” said Magnussen.

“Removing, at least what was turn nine and ten – I don’t think they needed to do that. But they’ve made a big effort to make the show better and I think that’s a great thing. Tracks doing their best to improve racing is a great thing. Let’s see how it goes in the race.”

The Haas driver, who raced around the Melbourne circuit the last time it held an event back in 2019, says he believes it’s important that circuits strike the right balance between allowing for overtaking opportunities while also not making it impossible for drivers to defend their position.

“I think there’s different opinions of what’s good racing,” he explained. “Too easy overtaking can be bad as well.

“It just kind of puts everyone in their right position, if you want, in terms of pace. It’s kind of like a balance – some tracks have just the right balance to still have some racing, still have some action, but also some opportunity to defend. If you can’t defend – if you just get overtaken if you’re even a little bit slower – then that’s also not a good thing. So it’s about balance, I think. So we’ll see how it is on this track in the race.”

With a fourth DRS zone added on the newly-created straight running from turn eight through to the fast chicane of turns nine and ten, Magnussen expects racing to be “full-on” down the new high speed stretch.

“I think it will be a little better,” he said. “I don’t think into turn nine… you can overtake. You may do, but I’m not sure.

“I think that corner – that they haven’t given a corner number – but with DRS the bend before turn nine is going to be pretty full-on, I think, with the DRS on, I think the cars are going to be quite loose there.

“Also with the cars – in Jeddah with some overtakes than we did last year in the race. So the cars are definitely better at following and I think overtaking, even if they didn’t change the track, I think you’d see more overtaking.”

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2022 Australian Grand Prix

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “Magnussen hopes Albert Park changes do not prove too “over the top””

  1. And here we go… Now overtaking has the chance to become too easy. FIA might need to adjust DRS zones for some races if overtaking is too easy with these new cars.

  2. I’m glad magnussen has said this – I feel like the conversation has been very one-sided from the drivers in relation to DRS. It’s good to hear someone sticking up for defensive driving!

  3. I doubt these changes prove overboard. I don’t have such a feeling.

    1. He might feel different as he’s actually driving an F1 car

  4. Ok, they ruined the track.

  5. This is undoubtedly v deliberate move. Allow even paced cars to keep swapping places because the one behind gets DRS boost. To and fro overtaking, a bit more like Moto GP.

    Not sure I like the idea of artificially compressing the field. Feels less like racing and more like entertainment.

    1. I share your concern and hope they strike a good balance, but I also think what we consider ‘real racing’ is somewhat dependent on circumstance. If the technology had followed a different course of development maybe motogp back and forth and a tight constructor’s championship would be the norm. Purists would be complaining about how more powerful aero regs benefit the top teams and prevent midfield teams from disrupting them. I would personally like to see DRS banned, at least in its current form, but I don’t think there’s an objective definition of real racing we can refer to when evaluating it.

      1. @realnigelmansell – that’s a fair point re subjectivity of racing. Also it is very easy to look back at history at only the exciting bits, and forget all the boring laps of no action. Let’s let this season play out, and then we’ll assess things.

  6. but hopes they will not make overtaking “too easy”

    Oh, my…

    Here a hint for you, Mag: develop your defensive driving skills!

  7. Since seems that circuits featuring several very long straights has become the preferred type of circuit now can we have the proper Hockenheim back please?

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