Having been at Haas during times of struggle, Kevin Magnussen says he “can’t believe” the difference in the team since his return.
Haas have spent the past two seasons lapping around the back of the field, effectively sacrificing their 2021 campaign altogether as they put sole focus on the mass regulation changes in Formula 1, and how their car would present itself.
After a relatively solid pre-season and having shown signs of a solid turn of pace, the Dane is seeing significant differences now to the team he left at the end of 2020.
"The team did a fantastic job over the last week from testing to now – it was relentless work." 🙌
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 18, 2022
“I can’t believe what is even going on,” Magnussen said to Motorsport.com after Friday practice. “It is so cool man, surreal. So I feel very lucky.
“The car has been feeling good all day again, like last week. In FP1 we were focusing a little more on race setup and race feeling, and we weren’t trying to set a lap time.
“In FP2 we did a qualy sim, still not fully going for it, but more like a qualy sim and that looked better on the times.
“But I think long run was what I was really encouraged by. The car just felt so consistent and lap times were really strong.”
With teams still yet to fully show their hands, Magnussen was keen to point that out – but remains pleased with what he has seen from his team so far.
“At this point I still feel like I don’t know where people are, especially when you look at long run pace,” he said.
“It is very up and down, even between team-mates, so let’s see. So far we are feeling good and we are happy and with a good car. So I am excited for tomorrow.”
Having experienced more competitive times with the American team, Magnussen added that he wants the good times to be coming back around again within the Haas garage.
“I really hope so, and so far it looks like it,” he said. “But I have enough experience in this sport to know that you can’t feel sure of it until the season is over, basically.
“But it certainly has been a good start so far. We’ve only done two practices so far so we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the weekend, but it has been a good start.”
Magnussen back at Haas
Haas made the decision to turn back to their former driver in very quick fashion.