the first vintertest is over, and it is still too early to assess the balance of forces in the Formula 1 field 2020, but there are a few trends that are worth noticing.
first, the Haas’ new VF20-model brought much-needed optimism into Kevin Magnussens team. Haas F1 Team has under Günther Steiner’s management has always been a solid, the interaction hold, but it was nevertheless clear that the problems with the VF19 affected the mood of last year.
Now do you expect to be back in the fight in the top of the midterfeltet, and it has a cumulative effect on the entire organization.
The three days at the Catalunya circuit also found that the Magnussens teamkammerat, Romain Grosjean, still make too many mistakes. On his first testdag smoke after a kørerfejl of the track and damaged bagvinge and bottom on the new VF20. It happened late in the day, and cost therefore, in the first instance, only a 40-minute drive.
It is the kind that happens – even for Him – when one moves in Formula 1’s frontier. But it happens just too often for Grosjean, and it happens at stupid times.
When Magnussen – much rarer than its teamkammerat – damage to the car, it is usually a crucial place, where there really must be wagered. To Grosjean then destroy the car on its first testdag, where the most is about to get driven a lot of kilometers, is just stupid.
I do not understand that Grosjean after 10 years in Formula 1 still make so many stupid mistakes, but seen with Danish eyes is the frenchman’s high error rate so that only helps to cement the Magnussens position as the team’s de facto førstekører.
Overall hamper the dog team, for Grosjeans exit meant that the Haas F1 Team ended the first vintertest with fewer kilometres and hence the data than the competition.
on Friday sent a damaged rim namely Magnussen of course. He was not at fault in the accident, but because Grosjean the day before had already loaded ‘spare part stocks’ (which are always limited so early in the season), came the dane not on the field the rest of the afternoon.
In a season in which vintertesterne is reduced from eight to six days, a small team like Haas did not miss a half testdag because of stupid mistakes.
Regardless of the lack of mileage left Haas VF20 a positive impression. Team boss Steiner told me that Magnussens first testdag suggested that the aerodynamic problems, which ‘destroyed’ tyres in the last season are solved. And Magnussen even talked about a significant progress.
On the Haas VF20 really is as good as Kevin Magnussen and the rest of the team expect?
of course, I hope that Steiner and Haas has the right. But I must also remind you of the situation exactly one year ago.
Here came the Haas F1 Team out of vintertesten with flying tabs, and you talked about to snatch fourth place in the constructor VM.
The positive prelude was followed to the door by Magnussen solid fifth place finish in the sæsonpremieren in Australia, but then it went only downhill.
Therefore: at the Earliest at the end of march in Bahrain – where the VF19 last year transformed itself from the ‘best-of-the-rest’-a candidate for one of the season’s fejlkonstruktioner – we get an idea about the Magnussens 2020-potential.