F1 news: Magnussen doubts F1 drivers will struggle with racing after coronavirus delay

Luke Smith
Magnussen: F1 drivers won't struggle on racing return

Kevin Magnussen doubts Formula 1 drivers will struggle with returning to racing after an extended break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

F1 is currently working on a plan to create a "biosphere" at the Red Bull Ring so the Austrian Grand Prix can go ahead as the new season opener on 5 July.

The race will be run behind closed doors, with extensive protocols - including COVID-19 testing - in place for all attending to ensure the environment is safe.

If the Austrian event goes ahead, the F1 field will have been out of action for eight months since the 2019 season finale in Abu Dhabi, with only six days of pre-season testing in February.

But Haas driver Magnussen said he did not anticipate any issues getting back up to speed once racing resumed, as he has previously experienced longer spells out of action.

"It wouldn't fear me, but it would be exciting in a way," Magnussen said in an interview on Sky Sports F1.

"We've been out of it for so long now. But I know that you don't really forget it. You don't get that rusty.

"You get a little bit rusty, but you don't get that rusty."

Magnussen went over a year without racing between his final race start for McLaren in 2014 and his debut for Renault at the start of 2016.

"I had a whole season out of a race car in 2015, and that was really out completely out of a race car," Magnussen explained.

"I had two test days, one in a DTM, one in an LMP1 car, but nothing in a Formula 1 car.

Magnussen: F1 drivers won't struggle on racing return

"So in 2016 winter testing, when I got back in a Formula 1 car, it didn't take many laps. It felt like I had only been out of the car for a normal winter.

"You pick it up quickly, and it's been the same for everyone. It's just exciting and it would be good to be back."

Magnussen said that while it would be "tricky" for F1 to get all the protocols in place to ensure the Austrian race goes ahead safely, he is hopeful the plans will come off and the season will begin.

"It's going to be a big job to get it done," he said. "But anything it takes to get back to racing really, I'm up for it.

"We need to do everything we can to ensure we do it in a safe way for everyone. It's not ideal, but it's better than not racing by a long way. If we all get together, I think we can do it.

"We'll see what the measures will be and what we'll need to do, but from what we hear it's already quite a lot, and it's going to be very different.

"I'm still looking forward to getting back on-track nonetheless."

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