Eifel Grand Prix Q&A with Kevin MagnussenOctober 7, 2020
The Russian Grand Prix saw undoubtedly your best start of the season, going from 18th to ninth on the opening lap. In a season of spectacular starts from you – where does that one rank and what made the difference in Sochi?
“It was a very good first lap. I got a good launch off the line, then I found some good gaps through turn one and into turn two – where lots of people ran wide and had contact. I chose the inside line and managed to avoid all of that, I overtook quite a few people on the exit of the corner as well. There was some further contact with Leclerc and Stroll which gave me another position. All-in-all it was a good start with some good moves and some good fortune courtesy of other people going off-track. Everything came together and that meant I moved from 18th to ninth on the first lap.”
Recent Formula 1 races have brought much talk about track limits and track design. Do you feel there should be more consultation with drivers on such topics?
“I certainly feel drivers have the best insight as to what makes a track good or bad, both in terms of how good the track feels to drive – which isn’t necessarily a very important point, but also crucially what makes a track good for racing, especially close wheel racing and overtaking opportunities. If I was designing tracks, I’d get feedback from racing drivers.”
The Nürburgring is a track that’s new to you in Formula 1 but you’ve raced there in most of the junior categories you competed in. Do you place more value on real-world track experience over simulator time in terms of learning a circuit?
“Yes, of course. Real track time is by far the best, you can only learn so much in the simulator really. You learn the layout of the circuit, and the very basic driving technique – I guess you can have a look at that as well. It’s only when you get to the venue you really get a feel for the rhythm of the track, and then it still feels new even though you’ve driven the simulator. I’m looking forward to going back to the Nürburgring. It’s a track that I’ve enjoyed driving at in the past. I think it’ll feel really good in these fast Formula 1 cars.”
Describe a lap of the Nürburgring and what the highlights will be there in terms of hustling a modern-spec Formula 1 car around it.
“The Nürburgring is a pretty narrow track in places and it has a good variety of low and high-speed corners. There are some big braking zones, big chicanes, and I think part of the track is pretty old school – you’ve got some banked corners. It’s narrow, it’s fast and there’s a good flow to the lap – I’m looking forward to it.”