After leading the way in Thursday's additional test which was granted to teams after pre-season testing at the same venue was snowed off, Magnussen then set the pace in both wet and dry conditions in Friday's free practice sessions.
The Dane was closely pursued by his main championship rivals in all three sessions. Antonio Felix da Costa was second fastest on Thursday and Friday afternoon, while championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne was the closest challenger in the wet on Friday morning.
While Vandoorne made less of an impression in Friday's dry session, running eighth when it was red-flagged with three minutes to go after Sergey Sirotkin spun, Magnussen and da Costa had spent the time leading up to the stoppage trading blows at the top.
In the end it was Magnussen who was the last to post a flying lap, bumping the Red Bull junior back to second.
Marco Sorensen had also upped his pace in the closing stages, and he briefly split the top two until Magnussen's final lap knocked him back to third.
Will Stevens - who had topped the session until the final five minutes - slipped back to fourth place for the renamed P1 by Strakka Racing, while Daniil Move completed the top five.
Friday morning session Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 1m56.130s 22 2. Antonio F. da Costa Arden Caterham 1m56.517s + 0.387s 19 3. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec 1m56.523s + 0.393s 21 4. Nico Muller Draco 1m56.588s + 0.458s 23 5. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 1m56.783s + 0.653s 17 6. Matias Laine P1 1m56.940s + 0.810s 21 7. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m56.979s + 0.849s 21 8. Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 1m57.125s + 0.995s 23 9. C.Zanella ISR 1m57.184s + 1.054s 17 10. Will Stevens P1 Motorsport 1m57.504s + 1.374s 19 11. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m57.536s + 1.406s 21 12. M.Stockinger Lotus 1m57.633s + 1.503s 22 13. Andre Negrao Draco 1m57.791s + 1.661s 19 14. Lucas Foresti Comtec 1m57.872s + 1.742s 18 15. Norman Nato DAMS 1m57.885s + 1.755s 17 16. Arthur Pic AV Formula 1m58.045s + 1.915s 20 17. Matheo Tuscher Zeta Corse 1m58.476s + 2.346s 20 18. Yann Cunha AV Formula 1m58.476s + 2.346s 21 19. Oliver Webb Fortec 1m58.484s + 2.354s 23 20. Daniil Move Comtec 1m58.525s + 2.395s 16 21. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 1m58.527s + 2.397s 21 22. Nigel Melker Tech 1 1m58.621s + 2.491s 22 23. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m58.780s + 2.650s 22 24. N.Martsenko Pons 1m59.437s + 3.307s 18 25. Carlos Huertas Carlin 2m00.092s + 3.962s 21 26. Mihai Marinescu Zeta Corse 2m00.166s + 4.036s 21 Friday afternoon session Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Kevin Magnussen DAMS 1m40.241s 21 2. Antonio F.da Costa Arden Caterham 1m40.353s + 0.112s 22 3. Marco Sorensen Lotus 1m40.383s + 0.142s 23 4. Will Stevens P1 1m40.510s + 0.269s 22 5. Daniil Move Comtec 1m40.527s + 0.286s 19 6. Nigel Melker Tech 1 1m40.597s + 0.356s 21 7. Pietro Fantin Arden Caterham 1m40.665s + 0.424s 23 8. Stoffel Vandoorne Fortec 1m40.672s + 0.431s 25 9. Nico Muller Draco 1m40.792s + 0.551s 22 10. Sergey Sirotkin ISR 1m40.840s + 0.599s 20 11. Andre Negrao Draco 1m40.883s + 0.642s 23 12. C.Zanella ISR 1m40.916s + 0.675s 23 13. M.Stockinger Lotus 1m40.922s + 0.681s 25 14. Norman Nato DAMS 1m41.001s + 0.760s 21 15. Arthur Pic AV Formula 1m41.012s + 0.771s 20 16. Yann Cunha AV Formula 1m41.229s + 0.988s 20 17. Matias Laine P1 1m41.378s + 1.137s 18 18. Lucas Foresti Comtec 1m41.499s + 1.258s 21 19. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin 1m41.546s + 1.305s 21 20. Carlos Huertas Carlin 1m41.566s + 1.325s 21 21. Mikhail Aleshin Tech 1 1m41.603s + 1.362s 20 22. Oliver Webb Fortec 1m41.723s + 1.482s 21 23. Zoel Amberg Pons 1m41.815s + 1.574s 20 24. N.Martsenko Pons 1m41.894s + 1.653s 21 25. Matheo Tuscher Zeta Corse 1m41.928s + 1.687s 23 26. Mihai Marinescu Zeta Corse 1m42.155s + 1.914s 22
The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers
Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener
Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far