Haas Formula 1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen believes that drivers won’t be rusty when the 2020 Formula 1 season gets under way.
With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling the first 10 races of the season, the new tentative start date is 5 July at the Red Bull Ring, with the race set to be held behind closed doors.
Many drivers have expressed possible concern as to the conditions when drivers get back on track. Defending champion Lewis Hamilton said he believes drivers will be “rusty as hell” when they return, and Daniel Ricciardo said that he expects chaos in the first race due to the extended hiatus.
Magnussen, who spent a whole year away from Formula 1 following his departure from McLaren at the end of 2014 and his return with Renault in 2016, doesn’t feel wary of potential rust in the first race back.
“It wouldn’t fear me, but it would be exciting in a way,” Magnussen told Sky Sports F1.
“We’ve been out of it for so long now. But I know that you don’t really forget it. You don’t get that rusty. You get a little bit rusty, but you don’t get that rusty.
“I had a whole season out of a race car in 2015, and that was really out completely out of a race car,” he added.
“I had two test days, one in a DTM, one in an LMP1 car, but nothing in a Formula 1 car. So in 2016, winter testing, when I got back in a Formula 1 car, it didn’t take many laps. It felt like I had only been out of the car for a normal winter.
“You pick it up quickly, and it’s been the same for everyone. It’s just exciting, and it would be good to be back.”
Magnussen also said that while it’s not the ideal way to return to the track, he fully supports the plan laid out by Formula 1 to create a “biodome” at the Red Bull Ring and finally get the season started.
“It’s going to be a big job to get it done. But anything it takes to get back to racing really, I’m up for it,” he stated.
“We need to do everything we can to ensure we do it in a safe way for everyone. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than not racing by a long way. If we all get together, I think we can do it.
“We’ll see what the measures will be and what we’ll need to do, but from what we hear it’s already quite a lot, and it’s going to be very different.
“I’m still looking forward to it, still looking forward to getting back on-track nonetheless.”
Magnussen and Haas are looking to improve upon a second to last place performance in the constructor’s championship last season, amidst rumors that the team might leave the sport if results don’t start to come.