Magnussen expecting night race to pose problems

Finley Crebolder
Kevin Magnussen 2020 pa

Kevin Magnussen 2020 pa

Kevin Magnussen thinks it will be hard to find the right setup for Bahrain’s night race as most of the practice sessions will be in the day.

For the first time ever, the Bahrain Grand Prix will be followed up by another race at the circuit a week later, with the outer track being used for it.

This means that the final three races of the season will all take place under the lights. However, other sessions will be in the day, and Magnussen expects this to make things challenging.

“The main thing with night races is that on those race weekends you do two of the free practice sessions in the day,” he said.

“The cars and tires behave very differently in the day, compared to the night, as the track is way cooler in the night and that obviously affects how the car behaves. Setting up the car on these weekends can be challenging.

“You have to have a good FP2 as that’s the only practice session you have in the dark. You almost have to ignore the flaws of the car in FP3 and not react too much as qualifying is then in the night again.

“That’s the main challenge of these night races. The tracks are almost then better lit at night than they are during the day.

“You have things like shadows during the day, which you then don’t have at night because you have the lights from all angles. It’s very good visibility.”

Istanbul Park Grade 1 safety licence.
Istanbul Park given FIA Grade 1 safety licence for three years.

Get your hands on the official Haas 2020 collection via the Formula 1 store 

At the last race in Istanbul Park, a lack of grip and wet conditions caused carnage, giving Magnussen and Haas a rare opportunity to fight for points.

While they failed to take it, the Dane says that they had the car to push for just their third top-10 finish of the 2020 campaign.

“I think the Turkish Grand Prix was made more interesting by the lack of grip on the track and the extreme conditions that we faced – especially for a team like us,” he added.

“Having one of the slower cars, it meant that you could make a bigger difference as a driver. That was a challenge that I really liked. It actually made the race a bit of an opportunity for us.

“While we missed out, it wasn’t because of lack of pace, we actually had the pace to be fighting for points because of those conditions, and the fact that the field was levelled out a little bit.”

With three races to go, Magnussen trails team-mate Romain Grosjean by a point, while Alfa Romeo is five ahead of the American team.

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