He may have finished the second day of Barcelona pre-season testing as the third fastest runner – but Kevin Magnussen found himself bizarrely side-lined in place of Haas reserve driver Pietro Fittipaldi during the afternoon after a headrest issue on his VF-19 affected his ability to drive the car.
Magnussen showed some promising pace in the black-and-gold Haas before being swapped out for Fittipaldi, grandson of two-time world champion Emerson, with Haas later tweeting that the Dane had a ‘seat-fit issue’.
“I was sitting just with my head pointing forwards, so struggling to see,” Magnussen explained afterwards. “The headrest was too far forward and when you sit like this and you brake, it's not easy… to drive anymore.
“That's something we need to fix. An easy fix but we don't have the parts, we don't have another headrest to fit, so we need to get that sorted.”
Despite the issues however, Magnussen believes that, fundamentally, the car Haas have equipped him with for 2019 is a good one.
“The early impression is that it is feeling good,” he said. “There's no big issues or inconsistencies and it’s nice to drive, predictable and those are positive things when you jump in a new car – that you don't jump in and feel uncomfortable… you get in and you feel like at home. I'm sure it could be a lot worse than where we are.”
Magnussen is next scheduled to run in the car on Thursday, giving Haas just 36 hours to rectify the problem if the Dane is to get any more all-important running in his new machine this week.