Expected warmer weather ‘a bummer’, says Magnussen after Haas impress in cool FP2
Kevin Magnussen’s Friday at a cold Interlagos was a bit of a tonic for the struggling Haas team, as the Dane ended up a fighting P6 in Free Practice 2, and within a second of Sebastian Vettel’s session-leading time for Ferrari. But with temperatures set to heat up over Saturday and Sunday, Magnussen was doubtful he could maintain that pace into the rest of the weekend...
Magnussen finished FP2 as ‘best of the rest’ in sixth, and cheeringly ahead of the Red Bull of Alex Albon, who wound up P9.
But despite enjoying what he called his best Friday since Monaco – where he’d ended up seventh after FP2 – Magnussen was wary about the warmer conditions currently forecast, given Haas’ struggles with tyre management this season.
I hope the cloud cover can stay and we can have some cool track temperatures as it definitely helps us
“I think we had a pretty decent Friday – we were P6 on low fuel in FP2,” said Magnussen. “That’s almost the best we’ve been all year, at least since Monaco, I think. That’s nice.
“It’s been very cold today and it’s not going to be cold on Sunday. The cold conditions help us, so that’s a bit of a bummer. I hope the cloud cover can stay and we can have some cool track temperatures as it definitely helps us. We’ll take it as it comes though.”
A quick glance at the FP2 results appeared to reveal a starkly contrasting session for the two Haas drivers, as Grosjean ended up P16 to Magnussen's P6. But the shortness of the track at Interlagos meant that, despite the 10-place difference, Romain Grosjean’s best lap in FP2 was just 0.361s adrift of that of his team mate.
“It was very close today, very exciting,” said Grosjean. “We had a small issue on the car in FP2 unfortunately, we need to resolve that for tomorrow. We know what it is and we’re going to sort that out. Hopefully the car is better tomorrow.
“The qualifying pace was good today though, the race pace was alright. We’re expecting the track temperature to be a lot hotter on Sunday and that will change the picture a lot. We just need to make sure we work on that and don’t get surprised by the change of track temperature. Conditions were in our favour today. It’s going to change, but we’re going to try as hard as we can.”
Haas are looking to end their 2019 season on a high, having endured a tough year where they’ve scored in just five Grands Prix out of 19 so far – and only taken two points since the end of the summer break, for Magnussen’s ninth place in Russia.
The constructors' standings pre-Brazil
|3 Red Bull Racing
|6 Racing Point
|7 Toro Rosso
|8 Alfa Romeo Racing
|9 Haas F1 Team