Haas ‘Working Hard’ to Figure out 2019 Pirelli Tyres – Magnussen

by Paul Hensby
Kevin Magnussen - Rich Energy Haas F1 Team - Shanghai International Circuit

Kevin Magnussen wants to turn his regular top ten qualifying positions into points-scoring hauls after twice this season dropping outside the top ten on race days after being inside that top ten on Saturday.

In each of the three Grand Prix so far, Magnussen and his Haas F1 Team team-mate Romain Grosjean have both made it through to the top ten shootout in Qualifying, but only once has the Dane managed to score points – thanks to a sixth place finish in the Australian Grand Prix – whilst his French team-mate has yet to open his points-scoring account for 2019.

Tyres, and in particular maintaining tyre temperature on Sundays, has been Haas’ achilles heel so far in 2019, but Magnussen hopes they can turn their fortunes around this weekend in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix at the Baku City Circuit.

“I think it’s really good that we’ve been able to do so well in qualifying this year, but obviously we also want to convert that into points in the race,” said Magnussen.  “That’s where our main focus is at.

“It’s great to know the car is competitive over one lap, therefore it should be competitive in a race, as well. We just need to work hard at that.

“The only difference there is between qualifying and the race is that you fill it up with fuel and do more laps on the same set of tyres. It’s got to be something with the tyres. We don’t understand the full picture, yet, but we’re working hard to figure it out.”

Baku represents the second street circuit of the season after the season-opening Grand Prix in Australia at Albert Park, but Magnussen does not believe the pace Haas showed during that weekend will be a true representation of the pace they could show this weekend.

“I think they’re two very different tracks,” insists the Dane.  “Baku is a low-downforce track with very long straights, slow corners, and quite low grip from the track.

“It’s going to be interesting to see how we go there. I don’t anticipate it to be our strongest circuit of the year, but I’m still positive we can go there and fight for points.” 

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