An enthusiastic Kevin Magnussen met with the media after a day that saw him complete 81 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya in his Haas, with a top time of 1:21.676. Read his thoughts on the 2017 cars compared to last year, and how those starts will change this season:
On what the 2017 cars are like to drive:
“It’s such a big relief to drive them – to be able to push, and really push hard on one lap, but also more than one. The tyres do have degradation, but even when they degrade, there’s still so much grip so that you can still push really hard – it’s so much more fun to drive, in my opinion!”
“Over one lap it’s massively good fun, really impressive to drive, and over race distance its much more fun because you feel like you are going fast. Some times with the old car, it felt embarrassing to go that slow. There were some corners where in between you weren’t full throttle, even though there was a straight, and it was just horrible. This is completely different and it feels a lot better.”
On the new starting procedures – is it more difficult now?
“Yes, definitely. It’s all up to you to control the wheel spin and the clutch slip and everything, so it’s a much bigger challenge than it has been before, and we’ll see some differences there I’m sure.
“When the lights go out, we’ll have to feel what’s going on, and not release it at the right point. Before you only had to release it between 10 and 80 percent – somewhere in there, there’s a flat map, and they would set that flat map to the grip and the tyres and fuel loads and all that, and the start was up to the engineers before. Now, it’s completely down to us.”
“The challenge is getting the right amount of clutch torque so that you are on the limit of the wheel spin, that’s the challenge.”
On the perfect start – will that be a rarity now?
“Yes, definitely. I think we’ll see some guy getting a massive run and gaining loads of positions, and other ones losing out massively.”