‘Main worry is reliability’ at Haas rather than pace

Jon Wilde
Kevin Magnussen in the Haas VF-22 in testing. Bahrain March 2022

New signing Kevin Magnussen in the Haas VF-22 in testing. Bahrain March 2022

Kevin Magnussen says he is more concerned with the reliability than the pace of the Haas VF-22 car after pre-season testing.

The Dane has made a whirlwind return to Formula 1 after looking like he had left the series permanently at the end of the 2020 season.

His chance has come around again due to Haas parting company with Nikita Mazepin because of events taking place in Europe and therefore needing a team-mate at short notice for Mick Schumacher.

Magnussen rushed to Bahrain to take part in testing after extricating himself from sportscar commitments, and will remain there for the season-opening grand prix next weekend.

As he clocked up the mileage, the 29-year-old found himself satisfied with the speed of the car, on which Haas have piled all their hopes after writing off last year to focus on a campaign with new regulations designed to tighten up the pack.

What is on his mind, however, is the reliability because his planned long run on Saturday morning was disrupted by two separate issues – firstly a water pressure leak and then a fuel system problem.

“I think our main worry is reliability,” said Magnussen. “That’s not a situation you want, but it’s not such a bad situation.

“If what you are really worried about is just reliability…of course you always want your car to be faster and we will continue to work on that. But for now, we just need the car to get to the end of the race.

“I think that’s kind of a theme in the paddock, I think a lot of people are trying to get their car reliable.

“But it feels good and it’s not been slow. It will be interesting to see where we actually are next week. Hopefully the team can find a bit more performance, a bit more reliability and then we can go into next week a bit more confident.”

 

Magnussen, with his time on track completed before his competitive comeback next weekend, reflected on his unexpected return to the team he had left 15 months earlier having been told back then that Haas needed drivers able to bring sponsorship funding.

“It’s just been such a big surprise, all of this,” he said. “I was really not expecting to get back to Formula 1, I thought that chapter had been closed.

“But I guess you can never say never. Now I’m back again and a continuation of my childhood dream, which was F1, and that’s just awesome.”

 

Magnussen back at Haas

Haas made the decision to turn back to their former driver in very quick fashion.