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Kevin Magnussen

Magnussen concerned for race after neck 'broke' in Saudi qualifying

After one year away from Formula 1, Kevin Magnussen admits it was physically tough for him to drive during qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Magnussen Saudi
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Kevin Magnussen has been left concerned ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after feeling that his neck "broke" during qualifying.

Having been away from Formula 1 for one year before his surprise return with Haas this season, the Danish driver felt the time out catch up with him when he got behind the wheel on Saturday at the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit.

Magnussen had never driven at the track before this weekend, and admits that this may have been a blessing in disguise given the physical struggles he has faced on his debut visit.

"I'm glad I didn't have that preparation, because my neck would have been done already before qualifying," Magnussen told media including RacingNews365.com.

"My neck just broke in Q3. I just couldn't drive anymore. It's tough for that when you've been out of a Formula 1 car for a year and then a track like this...

"[It's a] great track, it's nothing towards the track, but I'm just not prepared for it."

Magnussen reveals strategy for coping in the race

When asked whether he is worried about the impact of this on his race, Magnussen said: "Yeah!"

The Dane is hopeful that his physiotherapist can work "magic" before Sunday's Grand Prix, but the issue clearly remains a concern.

Should the problem persist during the race, Magnussen has revealed how he will attempt to cope with it.

"You just rest your head on the headrest," he explained.

"But you lose so much feeling for the car, and also visually, you're looking in the wrong direction. So it's not great, and that's what I was forced to do [in qualifying], because my neck just wouldn't hold it."

"The car had a P5 in it, but I only had a P10"

Magnussen feels that, had it not been for his neck struggles, he could have qualified further up the grid than his final position of P10.

"The car was great, I think the car had a P5 in it, but I only had a P10," the Haas driver said.

Knowing that this is likely to be a problem in the Grand Prix is frustrating, Magnussen admits, but he hopes to still have a good race.

"I think this is one of my tracks, and also the car is just fantastic," he added.

"So I hope I can be in good shape tomorrow, and I'll just have to get all the fighting will out that I've got in the race.

"You go a bit slower in the race, so that helps a lot. It's just these speeds; Turns 6 and 7, and 8 and 9. It's just hell when you haven't driven a Formula 1 car for a year."

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F1 2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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