Są pewne rzeczy, nad którymi nie mam kontroli – wywiad z Kevinem Magnussenem - There are some things I have no control over – interview with Kevin Magnussen

Over the course of last season, we managed to conduct quite a few interviews. One of them is the one with Kevin Magnussen from the Singapore Grand Prix. Even at that point, the Dane had already had his fair share of unlucky races in which, for example, he was called to the pit lane several times by the stewards due to minor damage to his car. Roksana Ćwik spoke to the Dane at the Marina Bay Street Circuit about his attitude in such situations, his contractual situation with the Haas F1 Team and his opinion of his then unknown teammate.

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After the triple header, we are in Singapore, very tough race. What is the main difference between Singapore and the European races?
Well, the reason it's more tough is that one, it's always super hot. Also, it's very humid, so it's like just terrible conditions to be working out. And, you know, the track is bumpy and it's slow, so there's always a lot of turns, and you never get a break. And because it's slow, then, you know, the race usually goes on to the time limit, which is two hours. It's just very, very challenging physically.

Have you changed anything in your preparations for this race or is it the same?
Not particularly. You know, there's a lot of ideas about doing different things to prepare, but I've never really thought any of that stuff helped. To really acclimatise, you need to spend a lot of time, which we don't have. I just do my normal thing and then do it a little more to really get ready for this race. But Singapore is the race that you think of when you need some motivation to train. This race is what you need to train for.

After a very successful start to the season, there have been many ups and downs. Is it difficult for you to get back on track and know that maybe there will be some problems or lack of points?
It's always harder when it's not going well. Everything becomes a little harder and more frustrating. But on the other hand, in motorsport things go up and down. When it's down, you just need to sometimes be patient. Of course, you need to work as hard as you can, but then some things are out of your control too. If you're doing the best you can, then what you need to do from there is just to be a bit patient. Do your best and then be patient.

What is your opinion on the car upgrades after so many races? Do you feel that anything has changed? Is it better or worse before the upgrades?
It seems like it's better, but it's just not a very big step. We never promised a very big step. It seems to be the intention to make a small but very sure step. In the past, Haas made some upgrades that just didn't work and actually were worse than the original car. These upgrades cost a lot of money, so you have to get some return. I think they made with slightly smaller ambitions just to be sure that it works.

Do you know anything more about the upgrades for the next races or will it be something rather small?
Honestly, it's been pretty something that we put on and it very clearly works. There's not been too much work to do with it. We're still running the car more or less in the same way that we used to. Other teams have just put on more downforce than we have.

Don't you think you've been a bit unlucky this season? I'm talking about the penalty at Monza because it wasn't your fault. There was also Miami and some other races...
Yeah, I do. But it's one of those things that you can't really control. You can do so much and you can work hard and then if it's not going your way, then you just got to be patient because this is the laws of the world. Things go in circles and sometimes you don't have any luck and then sometimes you have a lot of luck.

Sometimes I get the impression that stewards don't like drivers like you. Do you feel the same way?
I hope they don't feel like that. Sometimes you always feel unfair when you get penalties, that's normal. Again, it's one of those things that I just can't control, so I try not to focus on it. I try just to be patient and stay focused.

Let's talk about something more enjoyable. In the Singapore Grand Prix, you managed to get the fastest lap of the race. Is this something that is important to you? Do you focus on such aspects?
I have to be honest and say it's not something that I am that proud of because I got those fastest laps because the race was going very badly and that meant we were pitting towards the very end, which gave me new tyres on low fuel and then I got the fastest lap and the lap record.

But you're still on the list!
Yeah, it's a fun thing and it looks like with these cars nobody is going to beat that for a while. Who knows, I might beat the one with the lap record in Singapore forever.

Do you already know who will be your teammate or not?
No, honestly, I don't. I'm in more or less the same boat as everyone else. I'm curious to know but I don't really have an opinion. I think Mick [Schumacher] has done a good job lately but it's not really my idea. It's one of those things that whatever it will be, it will be.

If you could recommend anyone, which driver would it be?
I think it's harder and I don't think it's nice of me to say it publicly because I can actually recommend Mick. I think he has done a good job lately.

Especially because so far his second season in a racing series is always better than his first...
Yeah… We see that in the past it's been the same. But overall, I don't really want to have an opinion.

I know it's not the end of the season, but if you could sum up the whole season and the hardest thing and the most difficult moment from the start, what would it be?
I'd say, after the first couple of races, hopes were quite high. And then for a while, let's say for five, six races we were very strong but just didn't score points. We were always running in points positions and whatever, different things happened. And it just kept happening, something new. And then once we kind of started not being so unlucky, we just didn't have the pace. And then, you know, it's just been like this weird season where things just didn't really work out even though there was a lot of potential. I think that's been the hardest thing trying to control expectations.

But there were quite a few differences from the pace during the race and the pace during qualifying. What is the reason for this?
I don't know, honestly. I think in some cases you could look at the low downforce tracks and in those tracks we would be better in the race than in qualifying because of our rear wing. Our low downforce wing is the medium downforce wing but with the DRS cut out. The DRS, when it opens, it's so small anyway that it doesn't work. In qualifying when we open DRS, it doesn't give us anything. But in the race, most of the race you run without the DRS and that means it's more competitive. I think that's part of the answer.

You've been working with Mick now since the start of the season. Do you see any difference between Mick at the beginning of the season and Mick now?
[He is] more confident. Yeah, I think he's more confident. He's kind of showed himself and the world that he can be on a very good level. I think that's changed.

Let's change the subject slightly and move away from F1 for a moment. I've seen on your social media that you're quite active and have even been diving recently. Do you enjoy that?
Yeah, I mean, I do that a little bit. I do a lot of different things. I like nature, whether it's underwater or in the mountains or in the air. I'm also taking my pilot's certificate, so I'm actually learning to fly as well. I like many different things, not just diving.

I’m asking because when I saw your diving photo, I put it on Twitter and quite a few people wrote a comment along the lines of: «You can see he's doing really well». I wanted to ask if you do this often or just...
No, I don't do it often. I don't do anything often other than drive Formula 1 because I'm so busy. But I do like it. And I think when I'm done with F1 someday, then I'm really looking forward to doing those things more, just exploring nature in different ways.

We know you're staying for another season, but do you have a contract for more years or a one-year contract with an option to extend?
Let’s say, I do have a long-term deal. Next year is the only one that's sure.

You have received a Lorenzo Bandini award and will therefore fly to Italy. The committee's explanation was very nice. Do you feel proud to have it?
Yeah, I do actually. I feel a little bit humbled because of the other names that I saw on the list of people who won in the past. You know, I'm certainly the one who has the least number of trophies out of those names. It's a little bit humbling, but I'm very proud, of course, and thankful for that award.

OK, last question. What are your expectations for this race and the next couple of races?
I actually always try not to have expectations. It's better. It's much easier to just take it as it comes. I do think that these tracks, like high downforce tracks, are better for us than the low and medium. I hope that's true. And then other than that, I just take it as it comes.

Thank you so much, Kevin. It's always a pleasure.
Yeah, thank you.

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