Magnussen promises all out attack in Imola sprint

The #20 VF-22 of Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen has vowed not to hold back in the first Formula 1 sprint event since an off-season adjustment to the points structure.

This weekend’s Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola marks the first sprint event of the 2022 world championship, with the Saturday afternoon encounter (starting Sunday 00:30 AEST) to pay eight points to the victor down to one for the driver who finishes eighth.

That offers significantly more incentive for an action-packed prelude to the main event, given sprints last year paid out just three points to the winner, two to second, and one to third.

Reunited this year with Haas, which is looking to bounce back after missing the points in Australia, Magnussen is raring to cash in.

“I think it’s good that they’ve added points for finishing eighth and higher because there’s a pay bonus for points so I’m going to go all out, and the racing is going to be great,” said the Dane.

“I think it’s interesting as last year sometimes it was a little less exciting as people were more conservative because there wasn’t as much at stake.

“Now that there are points, I think we’ll see more tough racing, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Magnussen, who battled illness at Albert Park, expects the all-round strength of the VF-22 to have him back in the mix at the front half of the field at Imola.

Team-mate Mick Schumacher similarly feels the Haas package can benefit compared to others with the limited practice time as just one 60-minute session precedes qualifying.

“With our car I think it’s actually quite alright, we should be able to manage to put everything together quite soon in the weekend,” said the 2020 Formula 2 champion.

“We have a good idea, we don’t need to do huge changes so hopefully we’ll be right in there and be able to have a good weekend.”

Team principal Guenther Steiner meanwhile reserved praise for how the new-for-2022 regulations have benefitted the championship.

“It seems to be working – the cars look interesting, they’re all different – but they can all be competing,” he said.

“At the moment it seems that some cars are better for one race track, some are better for another.

“I think the new rules have overdelivered.”

Free Practice 1 at Imola kicks off tomorrow at 21:30 AEST ahead of qualifying from 01:00.

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