Kevin Magnussen wasn’t too pleased with the FIA call to force him to pit in F1 Hungarian GP, as Guenther Steiner and Mick Schumacher add on.
It was a disappointing F1 Hungarian GP for Haas. Both drivers finished but only 14th (Schumacher) and 16th (Magnussen) in the race where they brought their first update of the 2022 season. For the Dane, it was particularly frustrating race after he had made a great start and was in the Top 10 on Lap 1.
But a collision with Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap saw him suffer front wing damage, which forced the FIA to release the black and orange flag. He was forced to pit some laps later which dropped to the back of the field and a change of strategy.
He switched to hard tyres and was struggling to impress and despite a change to mediums and the soft compound under the VSC, saw him only finish 16th. On the black and orange flag, Magnussen wasn’t too impressed by the FIA to show him that.
“It was hard to make the hard tyres work,” said Magnussen. “Couldn’t really switch it on so it was good to get that off and do some laps on the medium. Our race was compromised massively by having to pit that early for the black and orange flag, which I questioned whether it’s necessary or not”.
“I had slight contact with one of the McLarens, just as we got to full power at the exit of Turn 1, something happened in front of him, so he stepped on the brake, and I hit him. Couldn’t avoid it, but it wasn’t that bad, so I was surprised to get the black and orange flag. I did two laps afterwards and the balance was fine, nothing was flapping,” summed up Magnussen.
As the Dane noted, he felt there was no problem with the front wing damage but the issue here is rules are rules and the rule states the car must return to the pits due to accident damage or a mechanical problem. It appears to be a slightly grey area. The Haas was damaged, the team and driver felt there wasn’t a problem as there was no decrease in performance however as per above, it’s a rule.
Magnussen ran the only upgraded VF-22 in Budapest and advised after to media positively. “It was positive from the perspective that we could put the car on track and immediately measure what we were hoping for,” he said. “It’s just going to be a lot of work to get the lap time out of it and that’s going to come over the next few races – it’s new potential to be unlocked.”
Meanwhile in the other Haas, Schumacher started 15th and made good progress to eighth in the opening stint. Reflecting on the race, he advised a difficult second stint on the hard tyre and this hampered his race and therefore only 14th.
“It was a tough race,” said Schumacher. “Tougher than expected it would be. We hoped that the C2 would work, it didn’t. So, I think maybe in terms of strategy we kind of gambled on the wrong tyre. I think we had a good start, that was what we aimed for, fortunately couldn’t make it stick, so yeah P14 at the end.”
A miserable and uninspiring weekend for the team but the summer break might help them recharge and be ready for Spa. “I think we have a lot to look back at, analyse and try and understand so that basically for Spa, we know how the new package works, what we need in terms of set up and what we need to be quick. I expect this package to work pretty well in Spa, if it’s the case we will know then for sure,” stated Schumacher.
Team boss Steiner was disappointed, particularly for Magnussen but was philosophical also with the summer break upon them. “It was a difficult race for us,” he said. “Kevin with apparent front wing damage which actually in our opinion was a mistake by the FIA to call us out on. The front wing was clearly safe to continue so we lost half a lap and that means our race was over and then obviously to get the tires to work was difficult once we ended up in all the blue flags”.
“It was the same for Mick, the C2 just wasn’t working, we didn’t get it to work, and we ended up where we ended up. Unfortunately, that was the race before the summer break but I’m sure we’ll regroup and come back in our old form not having issues like this,” summed up Steiner.