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Kevin Magnussen’s return can uplift Mick Schumacher

With Kevin Magnussen back at Haas, how can the Danish veteran help mold the Ferrari Junior throughout the 2022 Formula 1 campaign?

Following certain geopolitical events which removed Haas driver Nikita Mazepin from his seat due to variables outside of his control, the American Formula 1 team decided to bring back longtime driver Kevin Magnussen after a one-year hiatus from the sport.

Having spent the past year in the highest category of equipment in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Magnussen returns to Formula 1 with a fresh perspective for the new generation of cars.

The most common complaint from drivers across the paddock entering the new season has been the increased minimum weight of the new regulations, with many teams unable to even meet that requirement.

Coming from DPi (Daytona Prototype International) machinery in 2021, Magnussen has become comfortable racing in vehicles weighing at least 930 kilograms with reduced downforce when contrasted with Formula 1.

With the new generation of machinery mandated to weigh at least 795 kilograms (and most teams likely north of 800) and an overall reduction in downforce, Magnussen has seemingly given himself some of the best non-Formula 1 preparation possible.

These lessons learned will not only help Magnussen on his debut in the cockpit of the VF-22, but they can also be translated to teammate and Ferrari prospect Mick Schumacher.

Having spent last season acclimating to an uncompetitive machine and adapting his driving style to car characteristics abnormal for a Formula 1 car, the insights of how to better handle heavier cars both in respect to raw pace and tire management will be crucial to the team’s overall success.

More importantly, Schumacher is now experiencing a fresh teammate dynamic with a veteran who will likely be unconcerned by the prospect of losing his seat due to his teammate’s performance.

With Schumacher clearly branded as the next-in-line for a Ferrari seat, Magnussen can more comfortably take the approach of being a mentor to the 22-year-old German and potentially reaping the intrinsic rewards of helping him progress to the highest honor in motorsport.

In the end, it is all up to team principal Guenther Steiner to manage the two drivers and prevent any semblance of a sequel to the intra-team battling which led to the infamous demise of Steiner’s office door. In a best-case scenario, Steiner will recognize his organization’s importance in developing Schumacher as a future world champion and will do the best he can to have Magnussen coach the prodigy.

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