Despite having extensive knowledge of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya thanks to having pre-season testing at the circuit, Kevin Magnussen knows having this data is not an advantage as all other teams on the Formula 1 grid will also have the same knowledge heading into this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Haas F1 Team racer admits the data will give the team some kind of baseline with their set-up this weekend, but for Magnussen, the biggest thing he wants to know is how the team has improved since pre-season testing at the circuit.
“It’s always helpful to have lots of data from any track,” said Magnussen. “For Barcelona, all the teams have lots of data, so it doesn’t really give us any advantage. It means that we can feel more confident in our starting setup, and then we just adjust for the track evolution since winter testing.
“It does give you a good idea where you stand since winter testing. In our case, we haven’t really introduced that many parts since winter testing. We had some in Australia and, of course, we can reassess that, but I think in terms of numbers and the car, we feel confident that we got the improvements we expected so far.”
Magnussen feels he has been having a good season, with two top-ten finishes in the opening four races, but he knows how costly any kind of mistake can be due to the closely-matched midfield teams in 2018.
“It’s very tight in the midfield and we’re all very closely matched,” said the Dane. “Even a small mistake can be very costly in terms of positions because everyone’s so close, but it makes for exciting racing, of course. We want to be on top of the midfield as often as we can.
“Even though it’s been up-and-down and we’ve had some missed opportunities this year, the car performance has been consistent. At almost every race this year we’ve been fighting, not with the top-three teams, but to be the fourth or fifth team.
“Perhaps we were a little off in Baku, but apart from that we’ve been able to fight to be the fourth-best team. We just need to put it all together and get the points we have the potential to achieve.
“I feel like I’m having a good season, so far. I’m really enjoying my time with Haas. I feel that we’re benefiting from the experience that we’ve gained together over the last year-and-a-half.”