Kevin Magnussen speaks on the crazy F1 Bahrain GP result despite the lock-ups, as he hopes Haas can keep on the fight for the rest of year.
From looking towards a second IMSA season and first in WEC, Magnussen made a surprise return to F1 with Haas after replacing Nikita Mazepin. The dream run then extended to a Q3 qualifying finish and then a Top 5 finish in the Bahrain GP.
It was not just points for Magnussen after two years, but same went for Haas. The sacrifice of two seasons finally paid off as smiles returned on the races of Guenther Steiner and co. Even for the Dane, he did nothing wrong and pounced on the opportunity presented.
“This craziness just continues,” said Magnussen to TV media. “I don’t know, we had a really good race. The car was good all the way through, we had a little more degradation than we had hoped for on the first set, but I also got past a few people that were faster than me on the first lap. I didn’t really know whether to try and keep them behind or just kind of let them go.
“That first stint maybe wasn’t perfect, but then from there, even though we pitted earlier than planned, we kind of extended that second stint on the same tyre to get back on plan and then we had a safety car at the end that put us and everyone on the same tyre and it was a sprint race to the end, which was intense. Obviously, a bit of luck there at the end with the two Red Bulls but we will take that,” summed up Magnussen.
There was also a relief that the work of two seasons was rewarded straight up. “Haas have done such an amazing job to get themselves back in this position,” continued Magnussen. “They made a plan and this was kind of on purpose they sacrificed the last two years to make a good car this year and they’ve certainly done that. I don’t know if we’re gonna be this strong for the rest of the year on every track, but this result is good base.”
Despite not being in F1 for the year, Magnussen managed to have a good start and pass few cars on the line. While he did lose out the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull after few laps, staying ahead of the likes of Alfa Romeo, AlphaTauri and Alpine was crucial.
“It didn’t feel like a perfect start but it looks like nobody really had perfect starts except for maybe the Mercedes guys but the guy we were racing was Bottas and he didn’t have a good start either,” said Magnussen. “So it was mainly that, him having a bad start, me maybe like an average start and then the big teams having a good start
“I can’t say that I was even dreaming about this. It was like way more than expected, we beat the midfield, we finished in front of all the midfield runners. And due to Red Bull’s mishaps, we also leave this weekend in third position in the constructors, it’s kind of crazy. And I just hope we can keep this up, continue fighting at the front of midfield.
“Also, challenging the front runners a couple of times one now and then. Right now I’m just so happy, all thanks to Guenther and Gene for giving me this opportunity again,” summed up Magnussen, whose only shortcoming in the grand prix were the two lock-ups, which he felt was strange considering that the lock-up happens on right but not left.
“I did it twice, the left front wheel, which is strange into turn one, you always locked the right front, but I think maybe I was just on a weird line or something,” said Magnussen. “And I had some pressure from behind from the Mercedes. I made a couple of mistakes, lost those positions that I gained.
“But then I was kind of just there in front of the midfield. And we had the pace. I don’t know if we were much faster than the rest. But we had the same pace at least and we’re able to fight and the team did all the right strategy calls. They did an amazing job to make this car as good as it is,” summed up Magnussen.
Here’s how Kevin Magnussen fared at the start: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.onboard-kevin-magnussen-jumps-to-p5-at-bahrain-gp-race-start.1727843927451453787.html
Here’s post-race radio chat: https://twitter.com/HaasF1Team/status/1505641476075704326?s=20&t=ictZONtn4AFiwF5D-vjqnw
Here’s video of the kid of Kevin Magnussen enjoying inside Haas car: https://twitter.com/HaasF1Team/status/1505952879558856711?s=20&t=ictZONtn4AFiwF5D-vjqnw
Here’s post-race smiles for Kevin Magnussen and co: https://twitter.com/HaasF1Team/status/1505921925033316360?s=20&t=ictZONtn4AFiwF5D-vjqnw