Magnussen super fit for 2023: 'I felt very bad last year'

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Kevin Magnussen says an opportunity to properly prepare for his 2023 season with Haas has left him in a much better physical condition than last year, when he returned to F1 at short notice.

Magnussen had left Haas at the end of 2020 when the US outfit refreshed its line-up and was in the process of building a new career in America, convinced that F1 was a closed chapter in his life.

But during pre-season testing, the Dane was called upon by Haas team boss Guenther Steiner to replace Nikita Mazepin following the US outfit's decision to severe ties with its pay-driver and Russian sponsor Uralkali in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

This year, an opportunity to train and prepare accordingly for his eighth campaign in F1 meant that he hit the ground running when testing kicked off last week in Bahrain.

"Doing these days of testing I don’t feel tired," he said. "It is really a very nice thing.

"It’s good to see, have a bit of a back-to-back test of what training actually does so you can feel motivated even more to do it.”

"I felt very bad actually last year, so it’s good, it’s nice to hit the ground running."

A trouble-free three days of running at Sakhir onboard a Haas car that performed well relative to its mid-field rivals was also a source of motivation for Magnussen, although the 30-year-old is cautious of not putting the cart before the horse when it comes to comparing his team's performance with its competitors.

"We’re competing against other people and we’re hoping that they don’t feel so good," he added.

"But we’ll see. I mean, it’s testing. We try to keep our mind away from concluding where we are or anything like that, and just focus on testing and learning."

Magnussen's final day of testing was particularly productive, the Dane racking up 95 laps and completing a race simulation in the afternoon and only coming out of the car "just to go to the toilet and getting straight back in".

"We’ve had a good three days, lots of running, and we’ve learned the things that we wanted to learn," he commented.

"You always want more, of course, but there’s going to be a lot of analysing and digging into the data this week between now and the race.

"Especially this afternoon here, we were treating it like more of a performance exercise to try and get a little bit more balance out of it.

"That’s the more interesting part of testing, I’ll say. It reacts nicely. And especially on low fuel on those new tyres, it was fun. It felt good."

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