Kevin Magnussen continuously expects fitness problems, even when he returns to the stage for the biggest success of his Formula 1 career to date. In his very first F1 race, the Dane achieved a sensational second place for McLaren-Mercedes at the Australian Grand Prix 2014. But even then, as an F1 rookie, Magnussen may have had a better fitness level than he has now in 2022.
The reason for this is the Dane’s spontaneous return campaign of his old and new Haas F1 team for the 2022 season. Magnussen started for Haas for four years from 2017 to 2020, before the team – also for financial reasons – was forced to accept Magnussen and the Romain team To replace Grosjean with Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin for the 2021 season. Magnussen did not find another F1 cockpit as a result, instead the Dane oriented himself towards sports cars and had to accept the last end to his career in Formula 1.
Magnussen does not expect a Formula 1 comeback: The neck is no longer trained
So in 2022 the sensational comeback: Haas brought the 29-year-old back to the team as a replacement for Mazepin, who was fired due to the war Russia waged against Ukraine – father and Haas sponsor Dmitry Mazepin is one of Vladimir Putin’s confidants . For Magnussen, the joy was great, but the preparation was a bit to non-existent. Suddenly, the Dane jumped back in the car during the winter’s second test drive – just a week before the start of the season.
The training required for the special requirements of a Formula 1 car was excluded. Necessarily, it would have been that Magnussen had long ago let go of the reins here in the firm expectation of no future in Formula 1. “To be honest, I have not trained much in the last year and a half. It was very limited. I stayed active, but I did not think I should be so fit, “reports Magnussen ahead of the third race of the season in Melbourne.
Magnussen: Major neck problems in the Jeddah race without consequences
The Dane had previously complained of massive problems with his neck muscles at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix on the ultra-fast Jeddah Corniche Circuit. Due to the high curve speeds and G-forces in Formula 1, this section is particularly challenged – but only in Formula 1, in almost all other racing series to a much lesser extent.
“Now the throat is fine again,” Magnussen reassured Down Under. “But since then [Jeddah] it hurt all the time because I pushed him so much. “Magnussen assures him that it did not put him at a disadvantage in the race.” I could not keep my head up, so I leaned pretty much against the headrest. from the start of the race. But I got used to driving like this, and so it did not cost me a lap time, I think, “says the Dane. In addition, Magnussen’s physiotherapist Thomas Jørgensen had prepared the neck with tape to support it after the first problems in qualifying. .
Magnussen: Full Formula 1 fitness still takes a few races
“In qualifying, I was not even able to drive in Q3 on this last race,” Magnussen remembers. “It has already affected me,” admits the returning Formula 1. Magnussen does not expect an improvement too soon. “It will take a few more races before the force returns,” says Magnussen.
Magnussen’s training is hampered by the season that has already begun. As a rule, Formula 1 drivers build up their fitness level and muscles in the winter and pull on them for most of the season. In today’s long race months from March to November or even December, there simply is not enough time due to the countless trips. It is about maintaining the best possible level of fitness achieved in winter. After all, in this phase, the body is still stressed by the weekly to bi-weekly Grands Prix.
Formula 1: It is difficult to build muscle during the season
“I train as much as I can now,” says Magnussen. “But it also does not make sense to train five hours a day now, because then you just waste your energy,” explains the Dane. “To build fitness, you also have to recover. So now I try to optimize my time and find the right balance between training and rest. And in Denmark I have some of the best people in the world who support me. I I am in good hands, “says Magnussen.
Magnussen continued: “It will be a hard journey to get back to full F1 fitness. But I kind of enjoy that too. It’s nice to be back in the good old routines. It’s hard right now, but it’s fun anyway! ” After all, he really appreciates being back in Formula 1. “I’m really, really lucky to have this opportunity,” says Magnussen.
Magnussen excited about 2022 competitive Haas
The Dane can enjoy his comeback all the more so because Haas 2022 in the first year of the new technical regulations is suddenly not only better positioned than in the catastrophic previous year, but is also significantly stronger than in Magnussen’s previous years 2019 and 2020. en competitive car, is so much more fun, “says Magnussen.
In Australia in 2019, with a rather weaker package, it was still enough for a strong sixth place, one of the best results in the still young team history. So is Albert Park of the American troops located? Can Magnussen strike with the 2022-strong VF-22 at the team’s 125th Grand Prix on Sunday? Magnussen dampens expectations. “I think more, it was a coincidence that I had good weekends here. In 2019, for example, we were strong in qualifying all season, but weak in the race. We got P6 here because it was so hard to overtake here,” the Dane remembers . .
Formula 1 Australia: Next Magnussen adventure possible?
This should be easier in 2022 thanks to a new generation of race cars and a route conversion. In principle, however, Magnussen still knows about the now better package. “This year we have a good all-rounder with this car,” says Magnussen. “So here it should be good, too.” In the first two races of the season, Magnussen was number five and ninth.