Monday, June 24, 2024

Kevin Magnussen: “I’m hopeful to continue the strong form and score some points”

Kevin Magnussen was able to score a top ten finish in the Miami Grand Prix for the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team, a result that he felt could have been better after starting fourth on the grid.

Despite losing six positions from where he started, Magnussen was still happy to be able to bring home a point for Haas in one of the team’s three home races during the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with the upgrade they brought to the VF-23 for the Miami International Autodrome appearing to be working well.

“The Miami Grand Prix was a very good weekend for us,” said Magnussen.  “Of course, we only got one point but surely one point is better than none and what we always strive to do is get into the top 10 and score points at every weekend, and we managed to do that.

“On a more general note, the car was strong all the way through the weekend and the upgrade that we brought for this race seemed to be working pretty well so it looks like we’ve made a step forward, which is very positive. Furthermore, it was great to have a good result in front of our home crowd and our partners. All in all, it was a fun event.”

This weekend sees the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, and Magnussen is happy to be back at the circuit with his aim to break into the points for a third time this season.

“We’re back on European time, so no more jet lag for a little while,” said the Dane.  “Back to more traditional Formula 1 events, some really cool tracks that it’s good to get back to, and apart from that, it’s business as usual.

“I’m hopeful to continue the strong form and score some points.”

Imola marks Haas’ one-hundred and fiftieth race, and Magnussen has been a part of many of their most special moments, including his remarkable pole position in Brazil last year. The Dane believes the team have established themselves within Formula 1 having been underdogs early on.

“That’s a big number!” said Magnussen.  “It doesn’t feel like that much as it’s all gone by very quickly. It’s been a fantastic ride so far and we’ve had some super special moments – of course topped by the pole position last year in Brazil, but there’s been many more exciting moments.

“It’s always been an extra successful feeling scoring big points with this team because it’s such a small team in a very big sport, competing against some giant organizations. We’ve truly come from being real underdogs to being an established Formula 1 team.

“We’re still one of the smaller ones but the growth and the journey overall has been phenomenal, and I’m very happy to have been a part of it so far and hoping to have many more years.”

“I’m really excited to compete here for the first time” – Nico Hülkenberg

Team-mate Nico Hülkenberg has scored only one top ten finish so far in 2023 in Australia, and he will be competing in his very first race at Imola this weekend having not competed there previously in his lengthy career.

Hülkenberg has only experienced the Imola track on the simulator but is excited to taste the track for the first time on Friday, even if the weather is likely to throw a curveball into proceedings.

“After the many long trips, I am now looking forward to some shorter distances and the first triple-header of the season!” Hülkenberg said.  “Imola is obviously a historic and prestigious place in the F1 calendar, which is why I’m really excited to compete here for the first time.

“The track has already been a lot of fun in the simulator – let’s see what the weather has in store for us over the next few days.

“The floor upgrade already felt good in Miami, now we need to optimize that on a track with more grip and additionally we have something new for Imola that makes me look forward to the weekend with confidence.”

Hülkenberg is amongst the most experienced drivers on the grid having raced previously for Williams Racing, Sahara Force India F1 Team, Sauber F1 Team, Renault F1 Team, Racing Point F1 Team and the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team before moving to Haas in 2023.

Comparing Haas to his previous employees, Hülkenberg says they approach things in a different way but everyone within the team continue to work to their fullest and with complete enjoyment.

“Compared to others on the grid, Haas is a younger and smaller team,” he added.  “We approach things differently and after the first few races I can definitely say that everyone in the team works with a big attitude, never losing the family feel.

“You can see that people enjoy their work this season so far and we’ll be fighting hard for a good result in our 150th grand prix in Formula 1.”

Nico Hülkenberg has never competed at Imola before – Credit: Andy Hone / LAT Images