Kevin Magnussen said that the Haas F1 Team can reflect on an “encouraging” Friday at the French Grand Prix, as it turns its eyes to maximising its potential in the race.
Magnussen jumped from fifteenth place in Free Practice 1 to tenth place in the afternoon session at Circuit Paul Ricard, keeping within two seconds of Valtteri Bottas‘s quickest lap time in the day’s second practice.
The Dane completed 49 laps over the two session, with both low and high-fuel runs completed in the afternoon – Haas ran Magnussen exclusively on the soft C2 compound tyres in Practice 1 before using a combination of all three compounds in Practice 2.
“I think it’s been a pretty good day,” said Magnussen.
“It was very hot on the track, so the tyres were getting hot, but the car seemed to be working alright, on both low-fuel and high-fuel.”
Consistent and competitive pace should provide confidence for Magnussen, who suffered a dismal Canadian Grand Prix weekend two weeks’ ago.
Haas has struggled to find and keep the new 2019 Pirelli tyre range in their optimal working windows, leaving the team in eighth place in the Constructors’ Championship with just 16 points.
With plenty of overtaking opportunities at Paul Ricard, Magnussen hopes that Haas’s focus on race performance will pay dividends.
“So that’s encouraging and we’ll try to build on that, we’ll try to learn why that is today and try and make sure it also works on Sunday,” he added.
“We’re in the mix but it’s the race pace we’re really focusing on.”