“I didn’t know I’d missed it that much”: Haas driver Kevin Magnussen speaks about his emphatic return to Formula 1
|Published March 12, 2022
Haas’ new driver Kevin Magnussen turned many heads by topping the lap-time chart on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain.
Last Wednesday, Haas made Magnussen’s return to F1 official. The Dane replaces Nikita Mazepin, who left along with the team’s title sponsor Uralkali.
The likes of Niko Hulkenberg and Antonio Giovinazzi were also labeled as potential replacements. Team principal Guenther Steiner admitted that they considered giving their reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi the main seat.
However at the end, they went for someone who previously drove for them. Magnussen’s last F1 race was at the 2020 Abu Dhabi GP, after which he along with then teammate Romain Grosjean left Haas and F1.
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Earlier this year Magnussen said he would only return to F1 if it was a top team. Fighting at the back end of the field didn’t seem appealing to him anymore. Nevertheless, a return to an F1 team he had been in for four years seemed far too ‘tempting’.
The 29-year old drove the VF-22 for the first time on day two of testing in Bahrain. With him returning after a one year hiatus and not getting time to adjust to the car, many expected him to struggle.
Magnussen on the other hand, surprised the entire paddock by finishing the day with fastest overall lap time.
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Still a lot of work left to do before the start of the season, says Kevin Magnussen
The 2022 F1 season starts with the Bahrain GP next week. As a result, Magnussen and Haas don’t have a lot of time to prepare. They have to find ways to get up to speed sooner rather than later.
His promising return during pre-season testing will boost the morale at a team, that has been dealing with a lot of off-track drama for the last few weeks. Haas aren’t expected to be at the front come next week, but the fact that Magnussen finished first out of others in pre-season, shows progress.
The Danish driver was delighted about his return to F1. He shared his thoughts on his first run after day two of testing in Sakhir.
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“It was so good to be back,” the former McLaren driver said. “Driving a Formula 1 car is always fun. I didn’t know I’d missed it that much, it was really fun.”
“Got a good amount of laps in that half a day of driving. Picking up where we left off tomorrow morning, hopefully get a few more laps. My neck is a little sore, but I will deal with that. I’m just happy to be back,” he concluded.
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