Magnussen “can’t believe” situation at improved Haas F1 team

Magnussen “can’t believe” situation at improved Haas F1 team

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Just one week on from Haas announcing him as replacement for the ousted Nikita Mazepin, Magnussen proved the potential of his team’s VF-22 by setting the tenth fastest time in FP2 on Friday.

With team-mate Mick Schumacher clocking the eighth fastest time, Haas looks poised to deliver a dramatic step forward in form considering it was F1’s tail-end team last season after electing not to develop its 2020 chassis.

Asked by Motorsport.com if he was surprised by how quickly momentum had built up following his call back to F1, Magnussen said: “I can’t believe what is even going on.

“It is so cool man, surreal. So I feel very lucky.”

While Magnussen’s qualifying sim time in second practice grabbed attention, Magnussen said he was actually more encouraged by the long run form of the Haas.

“The car has been feeling good all day again, like last week,” he said.

“In FP1 we were focusing a little more on race setup and race feeling, and we weren’t trying to set a lap time.

“In FP2 we did a quali sim, still not fully going for it, but more like a quali sim and that looked better on the times.

“But I think long run was what I was really encouraged by. The car just felt so consistent and lap times were really strong.”

Magnussen conceded though that trying to work out where Haas’s rivals stacked up in the order was quite hard at the moment.

“At this point I still feel like I don’t know where people are, especially when you look at long run pace,” he said.

“It is very up and down, even between team-mates, so let’s see. So far we are feeling good and we are happy and with a good car. So I am excited for tomorrow.”

Asked if he felt Haas was back to its best days, he said: “I really hope so, and so far it looks like it. But I have enough experience in this sport to know that you can’t feel sure of it until the season is over, basically.

“But it certainly has been a good start so far. We’ve only done two practices so far so we’ll see how it goes for the rest of the weekend, but it has been a good start.”

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