K-Mag: Following and racing ‘so much better’ this year

Henry Valantine
Kevin Magnussen ahead of Pierre Gasly. Bahrain March 2022.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen leads Pierre Gasly through Turn 2. Bahrain March 2022.

Kevin Magnussen believes the ability to race other cars in Formula 1 this season is “more fun and rewarding” than in previous years.

The sport’s sweeping technical regulation changes had placed a heavy focus on how well the new generation of cars could follow and race against one another, and the early signs are that following in so-called ‘dirty air’ is easier than in previous years.

The reviews from drivers have been positive all round about how the new regulations have helped the racing, and having experienced cars before and after the change in specification, the Haas driver enjoyed his race outing in that regard.

“It’s certainly changed,” Magnussen said at the weekend, per Motorsport Week. “Following is a lot better, it’s so much better and I think this way of racing is a lot more fun and rewarding.”

Max Verstappen was seen closing up to Charles Leclerc at a rate of knots on the start/finish straight while the pair jostled for the lead, coming from almost nine-tenths of a second behind out of the final corner to be able to make an effort to overtake into Turn 1 on Sunday.

This has raised slight concerns about how powerful DRS may be this year – and Magnussen admitted its influence is more substantial as the slipstream available to cars behind is not as strong without the use of the open rear wing.

“I don’t know if it’s too easy to overtake,” the Haas driver said. “I think you can certainly follow a lot better, but the slipstream effect is a lot less.

“So if you just go on your own then the DRS effect is bigger than it was last year, but when you’re trying to overtake someone you catch them slower than you did in the past because the slipstream effect is so much less.”


Formula 1 managing director of motorsports Ross Brawn was pleased to see the new cars in action in earnest and, with the apparent success of the car specifications taking effect, he predicted 2022 could be a “glorious” year for the sport.

Magnussen took fifth place in Bahrain on his swift return to Formula 1, coming back to the team to replace Nikita Mazepin at short notice, and earned the American-owned squad’s first points for 18 months on Sunday – sparking jubilant scenes inside the Haas garage.


PlanetF1 Verdict


Magnussen says racing ‘so much better’ in F1

Kevin Magnussen has given his thoughts on racing with the 2022 cars.