Danish young gun Kevin Magnussen is demonstrating that he’s the real deal in the sport this year, scoring points galore for American team Haas. Stewart Bell caught up with the great Dane to talk about racing, future expectations and the epic Formula 1 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix.

Q: This has been a fantastic season for you at American team Haas, with strong point scores throughout the first half of 2018. What’s it been like from your perspective?

Kevin Magnussen (KM): “I’ve enjoyed it so far, and I’ve really had a good time. Obviously we’ve scored some good points, which is the most important. And yeah, just generally been quite competitive. So that’s been really good.”

Q: What have been your highlights so far?

KM: “There have been a few. I think we’ve had a couple of very good qualifying sessions; we’ve had some good moments in the races. I’d almost like to say that Australia was a highlight, but it obviously didn’t end well [both cars retired after wheels weren’t attached properly during their pit stops]. But qualifying as well as we did, starting fifth and sixth [for teammate Romain Grosjean], and getting a good start and doing most of the race in P4, on actual merit, was pretty special. But luckily we had some other good races where we scored good points and we finished fourth and fifth in Austria, which was incredible for the team to get two cars into the top-five. So there’s lots to look back at, but now we’re focused on the second half of the season.”

Kevin Magnussen leading a race

Q: What are your expectations for the second half of the season?

KM: “We are hoping to just be able to carry on that level. We hit the ground running again in Spa-Francorchamps [in Belgium] and now we know the car pretty well, know its limitations, and its strengths. Generally it’s been good on most tracks, especially towards the end of the first half [of the year]. We showed that we could be good at both high speed and low speed [circuits], so I’m feeling quite positive for the second half of the season.”

Q: The Formula 1 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix is ahead. Why do you think the event is such a firm fan favourite?

KM: “I think Singapore is a real party. The whole city comes alive, not that it’s not alive in off-weekends, but it’s really lit up for that weekend. And obviously the race is quite spectacular, racing in the streets of Singapore, and being at night makes it look spectacular as well. The cars are lit up like crazy. I think it’s a great race! Nice to look forward to.”

Magnussen's car in the pit

Q: For the drivers, Singapore is one of the toughest events on the calendar. How do you prepare?

KM: “We know Singapore is a tough race because it’s so hot and humid there. There are so many corners, there’s 23 turns on the lap, and not many straights, and so you are really working the whole time. You’re not going straight, so you’re not able to relax anywhere. And then because it’s a relatively low-speed track, that almost always takes us to the 2-hour limit, which is obviously very tough.”

Q: You travel a lot. What are your must-have items when you’re flying?

KM: “Books to read, music [on the phone], then obviously most times you’re trying to fall asleep so a good pillow is a good thing as well.”

The FORMULA 1 2018 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX will be held from September 14–16, with more information at singaporegp.sg.


F1 Calendar Highlight: Formula 1 2018 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix

F1 racing under lights, epic live music performances, brilliant weather, some of the world’s best shopping and dining options – a trip to the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix has it all.

For F1 fans, the event couldn’t be better timed with Singapore the first race after the end of the European season, just as the world championship battle is heating up between top F1 teams Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, and every point making a huge difference.

There’s plenty of action on-track, with F1 and other exotic machinery threading the barriers at up to 320km/h. While off-track, there is a lot to see and do – with race-themed family activities, support paddocks to check out, parties galore, and live performances from some of the world’s hottest music acts.

This year’s 11th edition entertainment line-up is epic, and caters to a wide range of tastes, with headline acts including Martin Garrix, The Killers, Liam Gallagher, Jay Chou, Dua Lipa, Simply Red, and The Sugarhill Gang.

The event can also be done on any budget with single-day walkabout tickets starting from just S$128 (approx. AUD$122), and affordable accommodation, both in and around the city.