Haas has now lost 7th place in the constructors’ standings – Aston Martin F1 has moved ahead – and hasn’t scored a point for ages, that is since the Austrian Grand Prix.
In Austin, in front of Gene Haas, at home, the opportunity would be good for Haas to re-engage forward gear.
The Texas circuit is precisely one of the most appreciated by Kevin Magnussen – who, like many drivers, loves his very varied register of inspiration, which borrows in particular from Silverstone. Even if the Dane is already wary of bumps!
“I don’t think I’ve really evolved in my approach to this track. It’s a big circuit, it’s gotten very bumpy, so some years when we get there it’s super bumpy, the circuit changes a bit of character that way. »
“It’s a great circuit, especially Sector 1 – it’s very fast, the esses are actually some of the coolest corners in F1. There are a few too many clearings for my liking, but the layout itself is very cool, so I can’t wait to get back there. »
Another signature corner of this circuit is the very first: a left hairpin at the end of a terrible climb!
“It’s a pretty unique turn. It gets very wide towards the apex, you can’t really see the trail as it’s on a ridge and it’s super wide. The apex itself is very narrow, so it creates opportunities for a lot of different trajectories. There is also a great overtaking opportunity here as we are just past a DRS zone. »
“There aren’t many corners that wide. It’s kind of easy to get the tires stuck there because you’re going over that ridge, but when you brake, you’re on that hill and you can brake really hard because of that. »
“After Turn 1 you go down those esses again and that’s where following another car gets a bit tricky. If you’re in front, it’s pretty easy to keep your advantage afterwards because of the high-speed corners. »
This Grand Prix is also special for Haas because, of course, it is the home race for the team (although there will also be Las Vegas and Miami now). Is it more pressure for Kevin Magnussen?
“It’s exciting to get back to our domestic race, although you could say we had another domestic race, with Miami a few Grands Prix ago; but the COTA is a bit special I think. We have the Haas Hill there and it’s an event where we have a bit of extra pressure, because I feel like we want to get a good result at our home race. »
Since 2012 (ten years therefore), F1 has made Austin the spearhead of its reconquest of the USA, today on very good track thanks to Netflix or the Miami and Las Vegas Grand Prix.
This resurgence in popularity has already been seen in Austin last year, continues Kevin Magnussen.
“From the beginning, COTA was quite special because there were a lot of people there. I don’t think it was a sold out event at first, but it certainly was last year, so you can really see how Formula 1 has grown in the US since then. There’s always that feeling of American motorsport – on the home stretch you can see the camper vans and the big trailers – and that’s how Americans tend to go to the races if you go see the MSA, IndyCar and others. »
“At the same time, all the fans who aren’t going camping but are going there for the Sunday event…I think a lot of them are new fans and that’s cool. In Miami, it seemed like there were a lot of new fans, and who I think had probably never seen a Formula 1 race on TV, and I expect the same in Las Vegas. It’s a part of Formula 1 too now, Netflix has really put the sport on the map, and that’s great. »