F1: Magnussen pushed to physical limits in Jeddah

(GMM) Kevin Magnussen pushed to the limit of his physical fitness last weekend in Saudi Arabia.

It was the Dane’s second Formula 1 race in the space of a fortnight since losing his Haas race seat to Nikita Mazepin after the 2020 season.

Jeddah was a particularly tough race on even the most seasoned of active F1 drivers, including George Russell who called Sunday “the most physical race I’ve experienced”.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22, leads Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, and Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT03 during the Saudi Arabian GP at Jeddah Street Circuit on Sunday March 27, 2022 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by Zak Mauger / LAT Images)

And Magnussen, 29, was already struggling in qualifying.

“My neck just broke in Q3 – I just couldn’t drive it anymore,” he said.

“I’m just not prepared for it after being out of F1 for a year. I’m glad I’ve got maybe the best physio in the world here with me,” Magnussen smiled.

But even that physio wasn’t enough for the Haas driver, who was spotted chatting with Mika Hakkinen whilst looking exhausted on a bench after finishing ninth ahead of Lewis Hamilton on Sunday.

“I’m having a hard time,” the Dane smiled to Ekstra Bladet newspaper as he leaned his weight on a small table.

“The neck is very sore, but the race is a little easier than qualifying as the lap times are a little slower.

“The car was a rocket and I was super happy with the balance and how we could just push the tires all the way through. It was just so good to drive,” he said.

He said even the safety car triggered by Nicholas Latifi’s crash, although terrible timing for his strategy, could not hold Haas’ pace back.

“That says a lot,” said Magnussen. “The car is just good and fast.”


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