On the eve of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Haas racer Kevin Magnussen spoke about the past stage in Turkey and the specifics of the night races that will conclude the 2020 season.
Q: How do you assess the past Turkish Grand Prix and what do you think about the almost complete lack of adhesion to the track?
Kevin Magnussen: I think the lack of traction and extreme weather conditions made the Turkish Grand Prix more interesting, especially for our team. We have one of the slowest cars, but in such conditions a lot depends on the driver. We had to overcome a serious challenge, but I liked it.
In the race I had opportunities, and although we missed them, it was not due to lack of speed. We fought for places in the top ten due to the fact that in such weather the speed of different cars became equal.
Q: In Bahrain, you qualified twice in the top ten. What qualities should a car have on the Sakhir track?
Kevin Magnussen: I don’t think that on this track the car needs something that is required of it on other tracks. It should be efficient at acceleration and have good grip of the front wheels with the track. In Bahrain, the tires are heavily loaded, so during the race you need to carefully monitor their condition, especially the rear. At least this applies to the traditional track configuration. In qualifying, as always, a good balance of the car is important.
Q: For the first time at the Sakhira Grand Prix, a short version of the 3.5 km track will be used. What can you expect from such a configuration?
Kevin Magnussen: The second race in Bahrain will have a rather unique configuration. I wonder how it goes. We can say for sure that high power and low drag will be required – the car must be efficient.
Q: The three final races of the season, two in Bahrain and one in Abu Dhabi, will be held under artificial lighting. What are the main challenges drivers face in night racing?
Kevin Magnussen: The peculiarity of the night stages is that we spend two or three workouts during the day, and the cars and tires behave differently during the day and in the evening. In the evening, the track is colder, which affects the behavior of the car. In these conditions, it is more difficult to find the correct settings.
In fact, the second workout is the only one that takes place under artificial lighting. In the third session, you need to ignore the shortcomings of the car, since qualifications will be held in the evening. The main difficulties of night racing are connected with this.
In the evening, the track is lit better than during the day – shadows do not bother us, since the light falls from all directions. The visibility is very good.