Kevin Magnussen says that the relationship between him and his Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg is ‘very good’ with the pair hoping to leave previous frosty encounters firmly in the past.
Hulkenberg is stepping back into Formula 1 at Hass, full-time this season as teammate to Magnussen in what will be his first full season since 2020 and he has been eager to set the record straight about the relationship between the two.
Rumours of a frosty relationship between the pair sparked after a media pen spat at the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix which led to Magnussen telling Hulkenberg to “suck my balls.”
But Magnussen says that the mature duo share some commonalities after both becoming fathers and both leaving F1 before returning to full-time campaigns, which will likely to lead to a good working relationship between the pair, but he explained that the two of them haven’t spent a lot of time together over pre-season testing.
“It’s hard to say as we haven’t actually worked together, Magnussen said when asked if Hulkenberg’s experience has benefitted the team.
“We’ve not been present at the track at the same time hardly yet because when I did mornings, he did afternoons. So most of the time was spent [together] doing PR stuff and I just learned he is a nice guy that’s all I’ve really learnt so far. I know that he’s a great driver from seeing him in the past and he is very experienced so I think he’s going to be great for the team.”
“So far the most annoying thing about getting him as a team-mate is being faced with all this stuff about the interview that happened years ago,” he said.
“So far it’s been very good, we’ve both grown up, we have some things in common, we’ve been out of Formula 1 and come back a couple of times, we’ve recently become dads now almost at the same time as well.
“So we’re in, sort of, the same stage of life so I guess there’s some common ground but most of all I hope that we can have a good professional relationship and help the team with the skill and experience we have.”
Meanwhile, Hulkenberg explained on Thursday that the pair broke the ice when he stepped in for Sebastian Vettel in Bahrain in 2022 and that they’ve been together for team marketing commitments over the winter. Hulkenberg also said the two also shared a friendly interaction at the all-drivers picture on Sunday morning at the circuit.
“Oh we are rubbing. Rubbing and tugging and hugging and everything,” Hulkenberg said.