Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher were quite happy with how F1 Austrian GP went as Haas scored another double points finish.
For Haas, the 2022 season started very well. F1 returnee Magnussen took a shock fifth place at the season opener in Bahrain followed by a couple of ninth places in subsequent Grands Prix. It was an excellent beginning for last season’s tail end charlie’s.
A bit of a grey patch since but both Magnussen and Schumacher have been showing a fair turn of pace in practice of late and impressive showings in qualifying too. The British GP a saw a tremendous salvo for the team, with a double points finish.
Magnussen took tenth and two places ahead was Schumacher taking his first ever F1 points. It was a great day for the team and Austria was to see things get even better with sixth for the German and the Dane took eighth, coupled with seventh in the Sprint race.
For Magnussen, he was sandwiched by the two McLarens and while he was delighted to score points once more. “I feel good,” he said. “I mean, what a weekend for our team! It’s really been great. Finally we had a bit of luck and it kind of went our way and after those four, five races recently that weren’t good for us. But we had the pace.
“It’s hard not to get down a little bit about [that]. And now, the last two races we’ve been lucky and especially this weekend we just had a great qualifying, a great Sprint and then a great race, so I’m super happy,” summed up Magnussen.
However, despite the successful weekend he and his teammate had, he did reveal that it had not all been plain sailing for him at the Red Bull Ring. “I had a bit of an engine issue all race so I was just praying to God that it wouldn’t blow up, which it didn’t, and I’m super thankful for that, that I was able to finish the race with that problem,” Magnussen said.
It was a definite step in the right direction for the Dane and the team and long may it continue into the second part of the season. Back to back double points finishes have been part of the Haas CV since the final two Grands Prix in 2018 which seems so long ago now.
But the other part of the Haas story, Schumacher had a career best sixth place on Sunday. During the race he passed Magnussen, Lando Norris on his way to Haas’s best result since Magnussen’s fifth place at Bahrain, coupled with this was a wheel to wheel battle with Lewis Hamilton.
“Obviously fighting with Lewis was fun,” said Schumacher. “I felt a lot different compared to yesterday [in the Sprint] today, obviously knowing that we had to take care about the tyres and stuff. But then quite soon in the race I felt that it wasn’t going to be a one-stop race just because of the way the tyres were behaving.
“The winds were very different and very difficult to manage because they were very much cross-wind in every quick corner, so yes, it was tough out there but a lot of fun. It’s a double-points finish again after Silverstone so I think… everybody in the team can be very happy about our result,” summed up Schumacher.
Haas’ return to the sharp end of the midfield is very welcome, especially considering they have yet to fully overhaul their 2022 package. The American team are expected to bring a bigger raft of updates to the Hungarian Grand Prix, after the French GP.
It’s good to see Haas having moved away massively from the back of the grid. Now they stand 17 points behind fellow Ferrari engine team Alfa Romeo. More of the last weekend results could move them even closer to or overtake them. They too of course are a team who have improved massively in 2022.
As it stands, Haas still have to fully overhaul their 2022 package. A larger amount of updates will be introduced at the Hungaroring in August. The French race is next up of course but the shape of things to come excites the team and in particular Magnussen. “It is exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing it, I’m now getting nervous for that upgrade, maybe we shouldn’t use it at all,” he said.
Here’s Mick Schumacher celebrating his best finish: https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2022-austrian-grand-prix-schumacher-celebrates-his-second-points-finish-in-a-row-after-p6-at-the-red-bull-ring.1737978706643477482.html