Tuesday, April 3, 2018


The speed Haas F1 Team showcased during winter testing at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya continued to turn heads when the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship headed down under for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The speed Haas F1 Team showcased during winter testing at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya continued to turn heads when the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship headed down under for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

That race is the Bahrain Grand Prix April 8 at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. Haas F1 Team’s notes from testing and the Australian Grand Prix are augmented by their silver linings playbook, which in size-72 font reads “SPEED”. Despite the outcome in Australia, there is no discounting the speed showcased by Grosjean and Magnussen in their Haas VF-18s.

The Bahrain International Circuit rewards speed. Its generous run-off areas allow drivers to push hard without the consequence of running into an unforgiving wall. Substantial track width also provides drivers options when it comes to attacking, as there is plenty of asphalt to tread on while pursuing one’s prey.

Kevin Magnussen Interview
The Australian Grand Prix was shaping up to be a milestone race for Haas F1 Team. How do you rebound from such a difficult set of circumstances, especially when the result could’ve been so rewarding?
- We try to refocus and look forward to the next one. We take the positives that we can from Australia, which is we have a good car. We take that forward to Bahrain.

Despite the massive disappointment in the outcome at Australia, you made it a point to find each crew member, shake their hand and essentially say we’re in this together. How were you able to shake off your own disappointment and be there for your crew?
- We win together and we lose together. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes – we have to make room for that – but we’ll learn from that and improve together.

The silver lining in Australia was that the Haas VF-18 had speed. How comforting was it to carry the speed from winter testing into the reality of the Australian Grand Prix?
- It was good to have a competitive car in Australia. I enjoyed driving the car all weekend, but there’s no guarantee we’ll be that strong in Bahrain, so we have to work hard to try and understand the car and make sure we carry the performance forward into the next race.

How did the car feel throughout the Australian Grand Prix – from practice and qualifying and on into the race?
- It felt good!

How good did it feel to handily make into Q3 and then run up front in the race?
- It felt really good being competitive and being able to compete at the right end of the series. I hope we can continue that way.

More specifically, can the speed you displayed in Australia carry over to Bahrain?
- I’m not taking anything for granted. Again, we have a good car, but I’m cautious. We’ll take it one race at a time.

How important is it to have a strong finish in Bahrain, where the disappointment from Australia can be forgotten?
- It would be great to have a good result in Bahrain after such big disappointment in Australia. We’ve got to start building points, as we’ve fallen behind after Australia. We’ve got to catch up.

Bahrain has proven to be a track where overtaking is more than possible. Where do you overtake and how do you do it?
- Bahrain is a much better circuit for overtaking than Australia. I don’t think we’re going to have as many negative comments about a boring race in Bahrain because the track layout is a lot better for racing and overtaking. I’m sure we’ll see an exciting grand prix.

The amount of run-off area at Bahrain is high. Does that allow you to push the limits of your car and its tires more than at some other venues?
- Yes it does. I still prefer to have not so much run-off. It means that you are challenged more and the window for error is narrower.

With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool?
- It changes the behavior of the tires, the wear life and so on. It’s something that you need to anticipate before the race.

What can you do to combat those changing track conditions during the race?
- Stuff like setup on the car, tire pressures, front wing – these are all things you adjust accordingly for when the temperatures drop.

What is your favorite part of the Bahrain International Circuit and why?
- Turns 11, 12 and 13 are a good high-speed section of the track. You’re carrying lots of speed into those corners.

Is there a specific portion of the Bahrain International Circuit that is more challenging than other aspects of the track? If so, why?
- Carrying the speed through turns 11-13.

Explain a lap around the Bahrain International Circuit, especially now after having competed there with the faster, current-generation car.
- Bahrain is a challenging circuit. There are good opportunities for overtaking and close racing.

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