Golden hour for Haas sees Magnussen fastest in Bahrain
By Mat Coch
Saturday 12th March, 2022 - 4:38am
Kevin Magnussen’s first day back in a Formula 1 car ended with the fastest time of pre-season testing in Bahrain to-date.
Haas completed an extra hour of running on Friday evening after being allowed to make up the time it lost on Thursday morning after its freight was late to arrive.
Magnussen duly logged a 1:33.207s lap to best Carlos Sainz’s effort by 0.325s.
“It was so good to be back in a Formula 1 car and so good to be back with the team – I think it went really well,” Magnussen said.
“We had a good day of testing. I spent the first couple of runs getting back up to speed with a Formula 1 car but other than that it felt like I hadn’t been away.
“I could feel my neck at the end of it though – it kind of broke – but that’s expected.
“I’ll do another day tomorrow, break it even more, and then hopefully get in a little better shape for next week.”
The Dane ended the day with a total of 60 laps to his name, 21 of those coming in the hour of solo running.
Even allowing for the lack of track time on Thursday, the Bahrain test has already been a better one for Haas.
It has logged similar mileage in the day and a half of running it’s had to what it managed across three days in Barcelona last month.
Magnussen’s mileage on Friday equated to more than a grand prix distance, and the team now has a combined total of almost 1500 km.
That does leave it bottom of the ladder, though not far shy of Alfa Romeo Sauber which continues to strike trouble.
It wasn’t all plain sailing today for Haas though, with an exhaust issue keeping Mick Schumacher in the garage for a period during the morning.
“It’s been a better day today,” admitted team boss Guenther Steiner.
“It started with a few problems in the morning for Mick and we didn’t get the running we wanted but I think it was worthwhile going through it, even just to get some of the gremlins out of the car.
“In the afternoon, we got out a little bit late because we needed to fix the car and it was quite a good session for Kevin.
“We ran an hour longer than everybody else because we lost the time on the first day but overall, we’re going in the right direction.
“Unfortunately, we just have one day left, I wish we had three.”
The 2022 season is a critical one for the American-registered team, which has been through a tumultuous two weeks.
Having effectively sacrificed last season in readiness for this, it is imperative that the team moves forward.
The addition of Magnussen alongside Schumacher is seen as a positive step, one of the few for the team in the wake of the split with title sponsor Uralkali and Nikita Mazepin.
Testing concludes tomorrow, with Haas set to start the day an hour before other teams and have two further hours at the end of the day.
Combined with the extra time today, it affords Haas the four hours of running it missed on Thursday, leaving it on a level playing field heading into next weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.