Kevin Magnussen has said he's feeling the pain of the excessive G-forces involved in driving a Formula 1 car, having returned to an F1 cockpit for the first time in 15 months on Friday.
While the Danish driver kept sharp by racing in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, as well as an IndyCar showing with McLaren, during his season away from F1, he admitted to media on Thursday that he was expecting to struggle with his neck after a day behind the wheel of the VF-22.
Taking over the Haas from Mick Schumacher on Friday afternoon, Magnussen slowly eased himself back into the sheer speed of F1 and ramped himself up to finish a respectable ninth in the times by the chequered flag.
His best time was three seconds slower than the pace set by Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.
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A fairytale ending to the day for Magnussen
However, Magnussen created a stir in the hour after the session ended.
With Haas permitted to carry out an extra hour of testing by themselves after a freight issue outside of their control resulted in them missing the opening morning of testing, Magnussen promptly set a lap some three-tenths of a second quicker than Sainz.
His lap time meant that he, technically, was the fastest man of Friday's running, and set the quickest overall time of the test so far – not a bad showing for a driver on his first day back.
"It was so good to be back in an F1 car and so good to be back with the team – I think it went really well," Magnussen beamed after the day ended, having logged a total of 60 laps during his outing.
"We had a good day of
testing. I spent the first couple of runs getting back up to speed
with a Formula 1 car, but other than that it felt like I hadn't been
"I could feel my neck at the end of it though - it kind of broke - but that's expected! I'll do another day tomorrow, break it even more, and then hopefully get in a little better shape for next week!"
Magnussen is back behind the wheel for Saturday morning's session in Sakhir, having started an hour earlier than the rest of the field as Haas play catch-up, with his next appearance being first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
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