Kevin Magnussen: “I love Spa!”


20 MAGNUSSEN Kevin (dnk) Renault RS.16 action during the 2016 Formula One World Championship, Germany Grand Prix from July 29 to 31, in Hockenheim, Germany - Photo Francois Flamand / DPPI. Credit: Renault Sport Media Centre

Renault Sport F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen is looking forward to getting back into the racing after a lengthy summer break, and more especially as the upcoming round is at a circuit the Dane considers to be one of his favourites.

“I remember the first lap I did there in 2009 in a Formula Renault 2.0 car. That car is way too slow for the track! You need a F1 car as it is just so big. I feel very lucky to have done it now as you can appreciate the flow and speed of the corners.”

When asked for his thoughts on the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Magnussen did not hesitate in talking of Eau Rouge, his favourite area of the track to take on.

“I love Eau Rouge – even though it’s flat now it’s still so enjoyable to go through.

“On top of Eau Rouge you can run the kerb and straight-line a lot so it’s a bit of a shame it’s not gravel or wall on the outside as would make it even more of a challenge.

“In the wet it is still a massive corner and you can guarantee it will be wet at some point over the weekend! It’s one of my favourite corners.”

Having driven round the track on numerous occasions and taken victory there in every other formula he has competed, it is hard for Magnussen to pin point a stand out race, however he did divulge that he enjoyed keeping Fernando Alonso behind him back in 2014, when the Dane drove for McLaren-Mercedes, even though it saw him handed a penalty in the end!

“I have won in everything I have raced, except F1, but I have had some fun races. I held back Alonso for the whole race… he was very annoyed with me and I actually ended up getting a penalty for defending too hard, but I definitely enjoyed that one!”

Despite finishing down in sixteenth place at the recent German Grand Prix, the final race before the summer break, Magnussen has stated that the RS16 felt great but poor strategy choice at the start, saw any chance of taking some points slip away. The 23-year-old is positive however that the performance is definitely there and is confident that improvements will be seen in Belgium.

“The car felt good [in Germany] and we were competitive in the first two stints on the super-soft tyre but ran too long on them. The two stop strategy didn’t really work but at least we showed at the start that we were competitive.

“With the right strategy we could have fought with Toro Rosso at the end of the race. I hope we can be at this level in Spa again.”