Kevin Magnussen, after a commendable qualifying display settling for fifth, fourth, and sixth spots across the three sessions, admitted that the upcoming race was expected to be challenging due to the persistent tyre temperature problem that has plagued Haas throughout the season.
The seasoned Danish driver lost a few positions right after the kickstart but managed to stay firm within the points for the initial part of the race. He memorably engaged in an intense skirmish with Pierre Gasly at one juncture.
Magnussen experienced a setback post an off-track episode triggered by a brake glitch but managed to bounce back due to a virtual safety car that allowed him to go for a low-cost second stop for soft tyres, thereby opening up an opportunity to overtake those with worn tyres in the later stages.
In a spectacular last-lap development, he secured points following the unfortunate crash of George Russell. “Super pleased with that,” Magnussen expressed, “It was hard fight. I don’t think I’ve ever fought so hard for a point. But I really, really wanted it, after the good qualifying, it would have been so disappointing not to get anything out of it.”
There was a point when things looked bleak for the Danish driver especially after his off in Turn 2. “I thought it was game over. My tyres were just done. So we pitted for soft, and it worked really well. Pace was good. And I made up a few positions. And then a few people crashed, and I got a point. So I’m glad I worked so hard for that,” Magnussen revealed.
On leaving nothing to chance, he said, “I just tried as hard as I could. I wanted to make sure that there was nothing left out there, and it paid off.” On being queried about whether this performance acted as a shot in his confidence, Magnussen firmly asserted, “I mean, it’s not really about self-confidence. It’s just I work very hard for this…And it’s so nice when it pays off. I work out in the gym. And today I worked my ass off in the car. Yeah, it’s nice to get something out of it. At the end of the day we’re competitors, we want to show and get something out of it.”
Magnussen concurred that such opportunities, particularly the one presented by the VSC, are necessary for the team to capitalize on. Especially, when tyres are a major issue for the car. “Yeah, it was good,” he noted about the timing, “Of course, we got an opportunity, and we took it. We were ready to capitalise…That’s what I always say, we’re going to these races, and we know that the race pace isn’t going to be that good and tyre degradation is not on our side. We’ve just got to be ready to take any opportunity there is. And we did that today. And it paid off.”