Magnussen and Schumacher reflect on contrasting fortunes in Emilia Romagna GP, as team vow there’s ‘more to come’
Following a tough Australian Grand Prix, Haas bounced right back into form at Imola, with Kevin Magnussen claiming his third points score in four races with P9 – although it was a tougher afternoon for team mate Mick Schumacher, who spun twice en route to P17.
Running fifth thanks to a brilliant start, Magnussen just avoided the colliding pair of Carlos Sainz and Daniel Ricciardo, with the Dane – who took an incredible P4 in Friday qualifying, followed by P8 in the Sprint – looking set for another big haul of points. But the team opted to pit him one lap later than most of his rivals for slick tyres, a move that proved costly as he come home ninth.
“I got up to P5 and the pace was pretty good on the intermediates,” he said. “Then the track dried up and we were a bit late to come in for slicks so we got undercut by a couple of people. Had a slow pit stop as well so didn’t really nail that part of the race but still came out and fought for points and scored two points, three over the weekend, so pretty decent.”
While Magnussen may have three top-10 finishes to his name, plus points from finishing in the top eight in the Sprint, team mate Schumacher is still to get off the mark this season after coming home 17th. The German had made progress in Saturday’s Sprint to start a career-best P10 on the grid, but couldn’t convert that after a dismal start which saw him lose control in the greasy conditions and hit the sidepod of Fernando Alonso.
From there, he was caught in a DRS train and unable to make progress, not helped by a second spin later on after a trip over the grass.
“The Williams were quite quick on the straight so no chance for me there to get by,” Schumacher said afterwards. “It was quite unfortunate but we live and learn, we look ahead and try to do better next time.”
While the return to points-scoring ways was welcome after a tough time of it in Melbourne, team boss Guenther Steiner wasn’t completely satisfied with his team’s performance, as they lie eighth of 10 in the constructors’ championship.
“We need to keep on working and get ourselves in the position to be the at the other end of the midfield, not at the back,” he said, having watched the likes of McLaren and Alfa Romeo slip past them in the pecking order. “On the dry tyres – we were just not fast enough for the others.”
The positive though heading to the first of two home races for the American outfit is that Steiner firmly believes there is “more to come”.