RACE DEBRIEF

    With four races to go in his Haas career, Kevin Magnussen was looking well-placed for a top-10 finish in the Turkish Grand Prix when a pit stop error undid all of the Dane’s hard work – with Magnussen less than thrilled by a mistake that he said had cost Haas a handful of valuable points.

    Magnussen had enjoyed one of his customary strong starts in Istanbul, jumping three places from his P13 grid slot to be 10th by the end of Lap 1. However, unlike many Grands Prix in 2020 where Haas have struggled for race pace, Magnussen then appeared able to keep step with the cars around him, consistently holding position in and around the lower reaches of the top 10.

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    That was until his second pit stop of the race on Lap 34, where Haas failed to correctly affix a wheel to Magnussen’s VF-20, forcing him to be ignominiously pushed back to his pit box by his mechanics – and leaving him two laps down on the field when he finally emerged on track again.

    “A tyre didn’t come on, I guess, at the pit stop,” said Magnussen, who would eventually be classified 17th despite being withdrawn from the race on Lap 55 of 58. “I had to stop the car and get pulled back. I lost two laps and that was it really.

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    Magnussen was able to run in and around the top 10 for much of the early part of the race

    “We had really good speed in the car, so once again it’s very sad that we’ve missed a points opportunity,” he added. “It was going really well. The [intermediate] tyres really wore down to the carcass and when the tyres got to that point, we were really strong, so I think we threw away some points today.”

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    Fans of Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive To Survive series will be familiar with Guenther Steiner’s infamous rant after Haas’ pit stop errors at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix. And the Haas Team Principal was similarly unamused at a missed opportunity for Haas to take points for just the third time in 2020, as he called on his team to rectify the issue quick-smart.

    “The race was going in the right direction, at least for Kevin,” said Steiner – with Magnussen’s team mate Romain Grosjean having retired on Lap 49 after a collision with Nicholas Latifi. “We were solid there in the top 10, looking quite stable, and then we had a bad pit stop again. That took us out of the points.

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    “From there on we just couldn’t do a lot. It was a very interesting and exciting race, but we weren’t part of it to get points. There’s nobody else to blame but ourselves. We need to fix this going forward.”

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    The outcome meant that Haas were unable to add to their tally of three points for the season, with only Williams having scored fewer in 2020 – while both Magnussen and Grosjean now have just three more races to score for the team before their time as Haas drivers comes to an end, with the team set to announce their all-new line-up for 2021 in the coming weeks.