Formula 1

Magnussen and Schumacher enthusiastic about the return of the Australian Grand Prix

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Credit: Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher shared their hopes for the Australian Grand Prix and memories of the venue ahead of Formula 1’s much-anticipated return to Melbourne this weekend.

Having achieved second place in Australia for his debut race in 2014 and a notable sixth place finish with Haas in 2019, Magnussen said that although the memorable performances he has had in Melbourne are likely “by coincidence”, he loves the atmosphere and energy of the event and hopes to continue this success with the 2022 weekend. 

“It’s always been a good race to us somehow, I think it’s more by coincidence than anything else but I love being there, it’s a great race to go to. I really like Australia and Melbourne. There’s something about that race – for so many years it used to be the first race of the year – so there’s always a special feeling there, so let’s hope we can keep it going and have another good weekend.”

Magnussen gave insight into the unique circumstances and obstacles that come with travelling to Australia, which results in a significant time difference to contend with.

“We always go quite early to Australia because the time difference is so big, at most other places you don’t need to go too early but for this one you do. It’s important to get straight into it and get up in the morning even though you’ve only slept two hours. You need to get up when it’s time to get up, do some training, eat your meals at the right times and just get into a rhythm as much as possible. You can plan a little bit ahead on the flight on whether you need to go to sleep or stay awake.”

Heading into the third race of the season, Magnussen said that they are continuously learning more about the competitive VF-22, and are beginning to see where the car’s strengths lie. 

“We’ve got a pretty good all-round car this year. We’re still learning about it but I have a feeling we’re stronger in low-speed and medium-speed than high-speed. Not that we’re bad at high-speed but I feel our strengths are towards low and medium, so that should be ok for Albert Park.”

“I’m excited to drive there myself and make my own experiences of driving in Formula 1 in Australia” – Mick Schumacher

Albert Park Circuit is a new venue for Schumacher, who will be eager to try and score his first ever points in F1 after coming close at the Bahrain Grand Prix with an eleventh place finish, and his inability to take part in Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after his crash in qualifying.

“It will be the first time for me to go and race in Melbourne, and Australia in general, so I’m quite excited,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting to know the track and getting to know the city as well. I’ve been there with my dad and have watched him race in Melbourne, that was really cool, and I’m excited to drive there myself and make my own experiences of driving in Formula 1 in Australia.”

Schumacher is confident in the ability of VF-22 to compete at the circuit, which holds a piece of family heritage through his father’s 2004 lap record.

“I think we have a car that we can fight with and a car that is competitive, which is great. Yes, the track is like most other tracks where it needs bedding in, especially when they’re driven by road cars all year round.”

“My dad holds the lap record in a 2004 Ferrari – I got the chance to drive that car – and it’s an amazing car. We’ll make our own laps in a similar looking car actually, the cars have turned back in time and they’re looking a bit more like they used to with the high front wing, so it will be interesting. Obviously, very different compared to 2004 but still great to drive with the VF-22.”

Credit: Haas F1 Team
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