Kevin Magnussen's Hungarian Grand Prix Q&AJuly 15, 2020
Kevin previews this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix in his latest Q&A.
You saw the checkered flag for the first time this season at the Styrian Grand Prix finishing P12. Specifically, what areas of the car had improved in race trim compared to what you experienced the week before in the Austrian Grand Prix.
“I think the race performance, from the Austrian to the Styrian Grand Prix, was more or less the same. That was good as the car was actually pretty strong in race condition at the Austrian Grand Prix. But obviously we had the brake problem that hindered our performance there – which we didn’t then have as bad at the Styrian Grand Prix. I think generally the car is very good in race conditions, especially compared to qualifying trim. Qualifying is really where we need to focus because the race performance is decent.”
The Hungaroring is another relatively short track, not too dissimilar from the Red Bull Ring. What are the main characteristics of the circuit and what’s the key to a good run there – both in qualifying and then in the race? What do you need from the car in order to be competitive?
“The only real similarity is the length of the lap, I don’t think they have a lot else in common. The Hungaroring is a much lower speed track, there’s less straight-line speed there meaning the sensitivity there on a lap time is less. Hopefully that can be a good thing for us as we saw at the Red Bull Ring our straight-line speed isn’t the strongest.”
You’ve had just one points scoring finish in five starts at the Hungarian Grand Prix – a seventh place effort with Haas in 2018. How would you categorize your relationship with the Hungaroring, and do you think about those results when you start preparing for the weekend?
“To me, it doesn’t mean anything what I’ve done in the past – whether I’ve had good results or not. There’s always an opportunity for a good result no matter what. I don’t see it like I have a particular weakness in Hungary. In the past, before Formula One, the Hungaroring has been very good to me. I’ve won races there and been successful. Just because I haven’t had good fortune there in Formula One, it doesn’t mean there’s any particular weakness there. I think we have a better chance of scoring points in Hungary than we did at the Red Bull Ring – even though that track has been very good to us in the past with Haas.”
Hungary represents the third and final leg of the opening triple-header to start the delayed 2020 season. Knowing there are at least two more triple-header stints to come on the calendar, what’s your take on the flow of back-to-back race weekends – where do the challenges lie, or is it a benefit to simply keep the momentum going and continue racing?
“I think it’s only a positive. I only have good things to say about these triple-headers. Of course, if we had a full season of triple-headers from March to December, that would be pretty stressful. But as we find ourselves in this situation where the first half of the season has been canceled, I think it’s only good we get as many races in as possible. The good thing about it is you get really fit. You’re driving the car all the time, every week, and your neck gets very strong. You’re getting accustomed to driving the car a lot which you don’t normally get the chance to. Your general fitness level is very good when you don’t drive the car, you’re in the gym working out, but your racing fitness becomes much better when you’re driving the car – so that’s the positive. I’ve missed driving the car, I’ve missed racing, so at the moment I can’t get enough.”