Magnussen Upbeat after First Week of Testing Despite Final Day Crash

by Paul Hensby

Kevin Magnussen was happy with the week of pre-season testing, although his final afternoon in the VF-20 was shortened to just four laps before a tyre failure pitched him into the barriers.

The Haas F1 Team racer was the first to run the 2020 car on Wednesday at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Magnussen completing one hundred and six laps of the track across the day.

Magnussen admits it is too early to judge whether or not Haas have a competitive car this season as they look to rebound from falling from fifth in the Constructors’ Championship in 2018 to a lowly ninth last year.

“I feel good – but tired, as it was a long day, but that’s a positive thing,” said Magnussen on Wednesday.  “We got lots of running in, that’s what we needed for the first day just to get to know the car.

“It felt good, but it’s always difficult to tell whether you’re competitive or not, but at least the feeling was good in the car even though it’s early days. We had a tight test plan for the day, we got most of it done, I think we just missed one run.”

‘Positive’ Week despite Wheel Rim Issue

Magnussen took over the VF-20 from team-mate Romain Grosjean on Friday afternoon but his running was restricted to just four laps after a sudden deflation of a tyre spun him in the wall at the exit of turn seven. 

The team found that a wheel spacer had damaged the wheel rim that caused the tyre to deflate, but rather than repairing the car, Haas opted to end their participation in the test and start preparations for next week’s second test at the same circuit.

“Overall, testing’s been positive for us this week,” said the Dane.  “We’ve had two and a half days of good solid running with everything looking as to our expectations – I’m very happy about that.

“I’m looking forward to next week and getting into some more performance running and pushing the car a little bit harder. We’ll work on more set-up and so on as well.

“As I said though, I’m happy with this week.”

Wednesday’s running was more productive than Friday’s for Magnussen – Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

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