Haas F1 Team Australian Grand Prix Practice Recap

Mark Horsburgh / Motorsport Images MELBOURNE GRAND PRIX CIRCUIT, AUSTRALIA – MARCH 22: Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24 during the Australian GP at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit on Friday March 22, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Horsburgh / LAT Images)

Round 3 of the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship began with Friday practice at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Albert Park as teams prepared for Sunday’s 58-lap Australian Grand Prix.

Opening practice proved to be a solid affair for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg – with a short red-flag stop for the crashed Williams of Alexander Albon being the only drama of the hour-long session. Magnussen and Hulkenberg ran identical programs, each starting off with a baseline stint on Pirelli’s P Zero Yellow medium rubber before sampling the Red soft tires – the first time this season the C5 softest compound has been utilized at track. Magnussen recorded a best effort of 1:19.489 on the softs – placing the Dane P13, with Hulkenberg banking a 1:19.604, also on softs, to put the German P16. The aforementioned stop to the session ate away at valuable track time, but both VF-24’s completed shortened high-fuel runs on used mediums to take the checkered at the end of FP1.

Both cars started FP2 with a baseline stint on medium tires. A return to the garage saw a switch onto soft rubber for quali sims. Hulkenberg subsequently clocked a fastest lap of 1:18.702 to land P16 on the timesheet. A clean lap eluded Magnussen on the softer compound so his earlier fastest lap on the mediums, a 1:19.275, placed him P19 at the end of the day. Hulkenberg and Magnussen wrapped up Friday’s action with high-fuel runs on their previous sets of the medium tires – logging 15-lap and 16-lap runs respectively.

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team ran a total of 101 laps on Friday across FP1 and FP2 – 52 by Magnussen with 49 from Hulkenberg.

Next Up:

Saturday March 23 – Final practice runs 12:30-13:30 local time before Australian Grand Prix qualifying 16:00-17:00.

Nico Hulkenberg:

“It’s been very windy today and I think that’s why we’ve seen so many people go off; it makes it pretty tricky out there. It’s such a high-speed circuit now and there’s no margin for error, so you can get caught out very easily. Our Friday was fine with no issues, so it was the usual program to clean some things up for tomorrow. I feel our one-lap pace wasn’t shining today so we have a bit of homework to do to find some performance over one lap. I think in the long run, I felt better than on my low-fuel run, so that’s nice for a change as that wasn’t always the case last year but we’re trying to optimize both as much as we can.”  

Kevin Magnussen: 

“We had two good free practice sessions today so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do tomorrow. It’s a very tight field so we could be anywhere almost, certainly in the mix for P10 or P11. I got a run on the soft tire but I didn’t set a time on it – I messed up my laps – but on the medium compound it looks promising so we’ll look at the sectors. There’s some pace in there.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal:

“This event is the first time that we’re using the C5 compound as the soft tire. We struggled a little bit to extract the performance out of it compared to the C4 medium, so we need to study that a little. On the long run, as we expected, graining is the biggest issue so we need to look at the data and see how we can improve for Sunday. I think with our qualifying pace we have a bit more to find, the same with race pace, but with the C5 we have a bit more focus on qualifying.” 

Haas F1 Team PR

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