Monday, March 4, 2024

Kevin Magnussen sets sights on strong result for Haas’ first home race in Miami

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen looks forward to the team’s first home race of the season, the Miami Grand Prix. The Danish driver said that the event brings a “unique” atmosphere, with lots of off-track excitement through the weekend and a track that he enjoys driving on. 

“The Miami Grand Prix is one of these new races in the US that kind of feels like a new type of Formula 1 event, where it’s taken to the next level. It’s very unique, it’s very hyped, there’s a lot of new things about it and I also think the track is fun.”

“There’s more activities during a US Grand Prix weekend being the only American team, plus having an American title sponsor. It’s also one of the races where we really want to do well in front of our home crowd, and also in front of many of our sponsor’s home fans as well.”

Between the Florida humidity and the variety of demanding portions on-track, Miami provides its own set of challenges, with Magnussen describing last year’s race as one of his most difficult.

“Last year was very hot and humid and also it’s a physical track. It’s not the most physical track in terms of the layout, but it is tough and with the weather on top it was so hard. I think it’s a tricky place to put a Formula 1 track and they’ve managed to make something that’s fun. The timing is very unique and last year it was being repaired over the weekend so it changed a lot during the weekend. 

“There were some big adaptations you had to make to your driving style for those repairs. Sector 1 is fun, it’s the fast part of the track – with the esses and tricky braking in Turns 7 and 8 before the straight – but the most challenging part is the slower section under the bridge before the last long straight.”

Magnussen said that this race is particularly important to him, along with the two other American races, being the “closest” event he has to a home weekend. He hopes to find success at these venues for the team, starting with this weekend at Miami International Circuit.

It’s the closest I get to a home race in a way because there isn’t a Danish Grand Prix and the closest I get is the team’s home race and I count that as ours. Luckily we have three of those and hopefully we can do well at all three.”

Magnussen comes off a thirteenth place finish at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, and will be aiming to move up into the points and find success at the fifth round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship

“I will give it 100 percent” – Nico Hülkenberg

Team-mate Nico Hülkenberg will be racing in Miami for the first time this year, having been on the sidelines as a reserve driver during the event’s debut in 2022. He is excited to come to grips with the “technical” circuit this year.

“I will only explore the track on Friday in a Formula 1 car, but I did do hot laps around here in a road car and it seemed fun. I’m looking forward to explore it and learn the track as it’s quite technical and challenging for sure. 

“The event was mega hyped, successful and I’ve never seen such a big paddock and grid like Miami during my time in Formula 1 so that looked pretty entertaining.”

Though the pressure will be on for the team’s home event, Hülkenberg said that he will take on this weekend just as he does any other. 

“Of course it’s going to be a busy weekend and busy race for us. We have a lot of partners and guests that will be supporting us but on track, it’s business as usual and the approach is always the same – I will give it 100 percent.”

When asked how the series has evolved since his debut in 2010, Magnussen answered that sprints have offered a unique change and that it is clear that the sport has had considerable growth– in part leading to hugely influential events such as Miami. 

“A standard race weekend is still very similar to 2010. Obviously Sprint weekends are very different but overall the sport has evolved and grown over the years, and I think mainly in a positive way.”

Credit: Mark Sutton / LAT Images / MoneyGram Haas F1 Team