Kevin Magnussen’s return to Grand Prix racing today in Melbourne didn’t reap many benefits, the Renault driver achieving only a few laps in FP1 and a just two exploratory installation laps in FP2.
Needless to say, because of the limited running imposed by adverse weather conditions, the French outfit and the Dane both have their work cut out for tomorrow’s hopefully dry ultimate practice session.
Magnussen’s limited number of laps was imposed by Renault, who believed there wasn’t much to be accomplished given the conditions.
“The team didn’t feel we were learning anything, we are quite tight on spare parts like front wings and stuff so it was better not to risk it,” Magnussen explained.
“I kind of got one lap on dry, soft tyres but still the tyres weren’t completely up to temperature and it wasn’t brilliant. I had traffic the whole lap as well, so I don’t feel like I got any running but that’s it.”
Still, the Dane thinks the RS16 – which hasn’t changed since pre-season testing in Barcelona – provides a good baseline for qualifying.
“It’s very much the same car as in testing so I didn’t expect it to be any different, which it wasn’t. So I know where we are in terms of handling and balance of the car.
“It’s good that we have a lot of front end in the car, and at this track it’s quite handy to have front end as the wear is more on the front. You can control the rear but if you have a lot of front end it helps.”
As he continues to settle into his new environment, Magnussen expresesd his joy to be back in business and behind the wheel of an F1 car.
“It’s different, it’s a different team, different people, definitely a different colour! It just felt amazing to go out on track really.
“When I drove out on to the track it was just ‘F**k yes, I’m here again’. It just felt so good and then massive disappointment not to get more laps because I wanted to go out and push, but there we are.”
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