Monday, May 27, 2024

Kevin Magnussen on Career So Far: “It’s great to have had such a long time in Formula 1”

Kevin Magnussen will enter his one hundred and fiftieth Grand Prix this weekend in Canada, and the Dane says it is great to have been able to race in the FIA Formula 1 World Championship for as long as he has.

The MoneyGram Haas F1 Team driver made his debut in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix for the McLaren F1 Team and secured his one and only career podium in that race and has also competed for the Renault Sport F1 Team in 2016 before moving to his current team in 2017.

Aside from a year out of the sport in 2021 where he lost his seat as Haas opted for an all-rookie line-up of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin, Magnussen has been plying his trade at the Banbury-based team and hopes for more opportunities to come his way with them going forward in his career.

“It’s great to have had such a long time in Formula 1,” said Magnussen.  “As a small kid, I was dreaming of racing in Formula 1 someday and to have reached this many races and have all those years in the sport, I feel very grateful for the opportunity. I’m excited I’m still around and still able to live my dream.

“What I see for my future, I’m in a good spot right now. I’m in a great team of great people and am often given the opportunity to race towards the front.

“I’ve had many opportunities with Haas and I see a great future for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. I very much hope I can be a part of that and live to see the fruits of all the hard work and progress that’s being made at the moment.”

His failure to start the 2015 Australian Grand Prix, where a mechanical issue forced his retirement on the way to the grid, means it will be the Austrian Grand Prix at the beginning of July where he would be able to start a hundred and fifty races.

Looking ahead to this weekend’s race at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Magnussen says he prefers this kind of circuit, a track that has character and offers good racing and sometimes even mixed weather conditions.

“I personally like most of the older circuits, those that have a bit more character and aren’t as flat and wide as many of the newer tracks,” Magnussen added.  “The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is definitely one of those and it’s a track that is very good for racing with the long straight.

“There are always good opportunities for overtaking and it’s never a dull race. There’s also often a good chance of changing weather and generally, it’s a great atmosphere at the Canadian Grand Prix.”

“We’re struggling on some tracks with our tyre management” – Nico Hülkenberg

Team-mate Nico Hülkenberg has reiterated his desire for Haas to solve its lack of pace over long runs so far in 2023, particularly after some stunning Qualifying displays from the German in the opening part of the season.

Hülkenberg qualified seventh on the grid last time out in Spain but fell to fifteenth after struggles with tyre degradation, and he says he would love to find solutions to their tyre woes so they can fight for top ten finishes.

“I often feel really comfortable in the car over one lap,” said Hülkenberg.  “We’re getting the tyres up to the right temperature quickly and I can squeeze everything out.

“On the long runs, however, we’re struggling on some tracks with our tyre management. That’s definitely an area where we want to improve.”

Hülkenberg says the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is one of his favourite venues on the Formula 1 calendar, and he enjoys the warm welcome that the Canadian locals give the drivers.

“Montreal is one of my favourites – it’s a track with a really nice flow and a great mix of street circuit and a race track,” he added.  “Around the track, you can see how much Canada loves Formula 1.

“The whole city embraces the race and the locals give us a very warm welcome.”

Nico Hülkenberg hopes Haas can improve on their tyre management and race performance in Canada – Credit: Mark Sutton / LAT Images