RACE DEBRIEF

    They suffered in Australia, but Kevin Magnussen was quick to praise Haas's pit crew in Bahrain as the American team got their season up and running with the Dane's fifth place finish.

    Haas suffered heartbreak at the opening round in Melbourne when two botched pit stops led to a double DNF, robbing them of a potential 22-point haul, but it was a different story in Sakhir as Magnussen took a convincing fifth place, equalling the team's best ever result.

    “I’m proud of the guys and the team, but especially the guys in the pit stop,” said the relieved Dane. “They reset their minds and got back to basics – and they delivered beautiful pit stops today.

    “It wasn’t quite a P4, but nearly. P5 is still a good result – it’s 10 points and after a bad time since Australia it was nice to get some points, a good result and to get the championship going.”

    Magnussen feels that both 2018 races have shown the potential of the Haas team this season, despite team mate Romain Grosjean trailing home in 15th after a messy race. The pair, on differing strategies, were battling for position at one stage – much to the consternation of their pit wall – but Grosjean twice lost parts of his barge board and was forced to pit three times as he suffered problems.

    “I hope we are (competitive), but it’s our job to keep up this performance and this level," said Magnussen. He added: "It’s not easy – we have a very tight midfield and it’s extremely competitive so we have to keep pushing and we cannot stand still.”

    On his near miss with his team mate, Magnussen was reluctant to comment, saying simply: “We need to talk about that...”

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