Motorsport News - Renault
Magnussen targets more success at the 'Ring
29th June 2012
Young Danish star gets first F1 laps in Hakkinen's championship winning McLaren
Fresh from his first series victory at Spa-Francorchamps, Danish Formula Renault 3.5 Series racer and McLaren Young Driver Development Programme member Kevin Magnussen is now targetting a repeat performance this weekend at the Nurburgring in Germany.
The Carlin Racing driver was in fine form at the previous round in Belgium, taking pole position in for both races and victory in the Sunday race. The win hauled him back into championship contention after a run of ill-fortune with three consecutive DNFs.
Magnussen heads to Germany with added confidence after last week sampling Formula 1 machinery for the first time. He was tasked with shaking down Mikka Hakkinen's 1998 F1 World Championship-winning McLaren MP4-13 at Silverstone which Nick Heidfeld will drive this weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Magnussen's father Jan – himself an ex-McLaren Formula 1 driver – was on hand to see Kevin at the wheel of an F1 car for the first time (pictured above).
Hakkinen won eight races, scored nine poles and recorded six fastest laps aboard the MP4-13 en route to his first Formula 1 championship.
Magnussen got the chance to drive the car as part of his role in the McLaren Young Driver Development Programme.
KEVIN MAGNUSSEN Q&A
Q: What are you thoughts going into the race at Nurburgring?
A: “I’ve done a few races at the Nurburgring and have always had good results there.
“I’m now headed there with a different car so there is no guarantee but I believe the speed will be there and we’ll put on a good show this weekend. I'm confident we will come away with a good haul of championship points.”
Q: How important is the working relationship with your race engineer?
A: “It’s vitally important. My engineer at Carlin is Paul Wallace – he’s a really experienced engineer and won the championship last year with Robert Wickens. His brother is actually Andy Wallace, the sportscar driver.
“Paul and I are new to each other this year, and it takes time to get to know each other. He needed to learn what I want to know on the radio when I’m driving and I needed to make sure that I’m communicating with him properly so he can address issues with the car. It’s taken a little while but I’m at the point where I feel really comfortable with Paul.
“I trust in whatever Paul wants to do with the car during a race weekend. Of course I want to know what changes he’s making and why he’s making them, but I have confidence in his decisions.
“With his history, that gives me confidence that I know he made the right decision.”
Q: The Nurburgring is a tough track. How do you set up a car for a track like that?
A: “Yes, there’s a lot to do at the Nurburgring, there are fast and slow corners, chicanes, hard braking areas – a little bit of everything. So there is some compromise you’ve got to put into the car.
“The current Formula Rentault 3.5 is new this year and we haven’t taken it to the Nurburgring before. I like a car with a lot of front-end grip, and our cars typically have that, so I think we should be pretty strong here.
“I’m pretty sure all the teams will be working hard on their cars during the practice sessions.”
Q: You drove a McLaren MP4-13 F1 car last week as it was being prepared for the Goodwood Festival of Speed. What was that like?
A: “It was a real thrill. That car has a big history – Mika (Hakkinen) won the 1998 world championship in it. It was a big thing for me to be driving it and living some of the history.
“As Formula 1 cars go, it is a very quick car. Combine that with the sounds and all that goes along with it and it was really special.
“What was very nice was that I got to share this experience with my family, including my dad (Jan Magnussen).
“I only got about five laps in it, but it was the real thing and only made me look forward to spending more time behind the wheel of Formula 1 cars, older and current.”
Q: When do you hope to drive a current Formula 1 car?
A: “Actually I’m really trying to not think about that for the moment. My focus is on the Formula Renault 3.5 Series and this season.
“I trust McLaren. They will put me in a Formula 1 car at the right time and prepare me well for the experience.”
Formula Renault 3.5 Series
Saturday, June 30
10:25 - 10:55: Formula Renault 3.5 Series Qualifying
14:00 - 14:45: Formula Renault 3.5 Series Race 1
Sunday, June 3
08:50 - 09:20 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Qualifying
13:00 - 13:30 Formula Renault 3.5 Series Race 2
Formula Renault 3.5 Series
70 - Sam Bird
61 - Robin Frijns
51 - Nick Yelloly
45 - Marco Sorensen
43 - Kevin Magnussen
36 - Jules Bianchi
32 - Nico Müller
25 - Alexander Rossi
24 - Kevin Korjus
16 - Mikhail Aleshin
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