Magnussen: Drivers don’t forget how to race

Michelle Foster


Kevin Magnussen has downplayed concerns the drivers will be rusty when they take to the track in Austria, seven months after the 2019 season concluded.

Magnussen last drove a Formula 1 car back in February when he took part in pre-season testing with Haas.

Since then the Dane has been sitting at home, waiting for the Formula 1 season to get underway.

But while some teams have put on Formula 1 tests for their drivers in preparation for the Austrian GP start, Haas opted not to.

Instead Magnussen has been laying down on the laps in karting, getting his eye in and once again getting used to driving at speed.

His karting endeavours are the first time in more than a decade that the former McLaren has spent time kart.

However, up to speed quickly, he feels he won’t have any problems doing the same when he climbs into his VF20 on Friday.

“I don’t feel too nervous about it,” said Magnussen.

“To give an example, in this time where we haven’t been racing, I’ve picked up karting again.

“I’ve been away from karting for a lot of years. It really didn’t take me any time to get back into it and be on the pace again.

“It’s really been about 12 years since I was active in karting, with the odd occasion in-between in a kart. It only took a couple of runs and I was totally back into it.

“You never really forget it. It would have been better to be doing it every day, but motorsport isn’t a sport like that.”

The Haas driver explained that motor racing is very different to other sports as “nobody” in F1 trains every day.

“You can’t compare it with tennis or golf,” he added.

“Those athletes, if they missed a few months, would struggle going straight into a tournament if up against players who were training every day.

“In Formula One, nobody trains every day in the car, so I guess that’s what makes the difference – we’re all used to jumping straight in with not too much practice and getting on the pace.

“It’s the same for everyone so it’s not that big a factor I think.”

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