Kevin Magnussen: British Grand Prix Q&AJuly 27, 2020
A Q&A with Haas racer Kevin Magnussen as he previews the 2020 British Grand Prix.
The Hungarian Grand Prix proved to be the highlight, in terms of the overall performance of the VF-20, from the opening three races of the 2020 campaign. What made the difference there?
“I think we’ve learned a huge amount about the VF-20 in the first three races. It’s been good to get to know the car a bit more and I believe we’ve been successful in making progress in the direction we’ve tried to go with this year’s car in comparison to the VF-19. The car is much more drivable in the race, it’s very usable, but we still need to find more qualifying pace – and we’re working on that.”
You stated after the race in Hungary that the car was very drivable, and you had the ability to keep pushing throughout the Grand Prix. Can you describe how that feels in the car and the confidence it gives you as a driver?
“As I said, the car is just very usable, drivable, it’s consistent through the corners, as well as through a stint on a set of tires. Last year’s car, for example, you couldn’t push for very long, then you lost grip in the tires. The VF-20 seems to keep the tires in the working window for the whole stint – much better than last year’s car. I’d say that’s really the main difference. The characteristics of the car on a single lap is also better, but obviously we need more overall performance to be able to get more out of it in qualifying and the race. The baseline of the car is really good though.”
Do you adjust your mindset for qualifying knowing it’s an area that so-far hasn’t been an area of strength for the VF-20? Do you feel Q2 should be achievable for both cars on Saturday afternoons?
“I don’t feel currently that we are strong enough for any more than sneaking into Q2 in qualifying. We’re much stronger in the race, as I’ve said, but we just have to do the best we can in qualifying to get us as far up as we can so we can fight in the race. We certainly need to focus on qualifying from here.”
What are the ingredients for a successful weekend setting up a car for Silverstone with its long, fast corners and how much of a role does experience play in working through that set-up plan?
“I would say the ingredient for a good weekend at Silverstone is lots of downforce, although you still have some pretty decent straights – so you do need straight line speed as well. I don’t think we’ll change our approach very much; I think we’ll just try and get our car into the window. We’ll use free practice for trying to get the car set-up right and get ourselves ready for qualifying and the race.”
What are your favorite Silverstone moments, either from your junior career or from competing in the British Grand Prix throughout your Formula One career?
“I’ve had many races at Silverstone. I’ve raced at the old track, the new track, and in many different race cars. I’ve won races there in the past in F3 and had pole position in Formula Renault 3.5. I’ve never really had the perfect Grand Prix there in Formula One - yet.”