Kevin Magnussen has described the “massive roller coaster” ride that has led to the latest high of qualifying seventh for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The past 10 days have been an utter whirlwind for Magnussen, from not even being an F1 driver to reaching a top-10 shootout.
Magnussen had not been in an F1 car since 2020 until last week, and had to cope with hydraulic issues throughout qualifying in Bahrain having stopped on track at the end of Q2.
The Dane has some concerns over the reliability of the car for the race but is still pleased with the weekend so far.
“We had some good long-run pace in practice. You don’t really know what people are running with fuel and power, but it certainly wasn’t bad,” he said.
“Starting P7, so we are going for points tomorrow, but the biggest concern is reliability – fingers crossed we can get that sorted.
“We didn’t think we could get out in Q3.”
Haas have surprised everyone in the paddock with their pace after struggling all of last season, qualifying seventh (Magnussen) and 12th (Mick Schumacher).
“It’s been a massive roller coaster,” added Magnussen, talking to Sky Sports F1. “From getting the call from Guenther [Steiner] and being surprised by that, to trying to make it happen – there were lots of things to sort out.
“Then getting here, driving the car for the first time, having a sore neck and you hope the car is good. You never really know with this F1 testing and now here having an issue in qualifying.”
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) March 9, 2022
Team principal Guenther Steiner had hoped the regulation changes coming into effect this year would benefit Haas.
“He [Guenther] didn’t promise anything and he could have easily done that,” said Magnussen.
“They had some good feelings with what they had done with the car but after Barcelona there wasn’t much to show for it. We were talking and he said they think they have a pretty decent car but didn’t promise anything…it’s just crazy.”
When Magnussen finished the 2020 season, he probably thought that his F1 days were over.
“I feel so unbelievably lucky to be here in this situation with a good car in F1. It’s a lot of fun and I’m super-happy,” he said.