Magnussen ‘really happy’ after last-gasp pass on Tsunoda clinches point at Jeddah
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen turned on the pace – and in some style – to bag P10 and the final point in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with a late-race move on AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.
The Dane was understandably happy with the overtake that saw him seal his first point of the season. He stalked Tsunoda’s rear wing from Lap 25 onwards and eventually pulled off the pass down the inside of the final corner with five laps to go.
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“It was a good pass. Yuki did a great job to defend and for many laps kept me behind, just put his car in all the right spots to destroy my aero in the crucial points and always getting good exits in the last corner to defend at Turn 1, and I got him eventually,” said Magnussen.
“I’m really happy; I think we made a good step this weekend on the set-up, much better on tyre degradation today than in Bahrain, so we’ve got to be really happy with that.”
Magnussen was perhaps more pleased with Haas’s recovery from a point-less outing at the season-opening Bahrain race. He said he was looking forward to the Australian Grand Prix – which takes place from March 31-April 2 – but admitted there were still questions over whether Haas could fare well on higher-degradation circuits.
“I feel like we actually made a step forward and I hope that transfers into Melbourne and the coming races,” he said. “We’re going to go back to races that are harder on the surface tarmac-wise, and then we’ll see if we actually made a step forward. But happy about today.”
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With Haas on the scoresheet and up to seventh in the standings ahead of the third round of the season in Melbourne, Team Principal Guenther Steiner also expressed his optimism – albeit a cautious optimism.
“First point this season. We had the speed but didn’t luck into it, as some people were in a better position after the Safety Car, but the drivers fought hard, and we got a point,” said Steiner.
“The whole team performed flawlessly all weekend, they kept their heads up and everyone just kept on pushing. That’s what we’re going to be doing all season long and I’m really looking forward to going to Australia now.
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“As I said after Bahrain, I didn’t really know where we were with the car, but we now know where we think we are. We’re in the mix, we’re actually pretty good I think [and] it’s all coming together. We didn’t panic after Bahrain, now we’re cautiously optimistic,” concluded the Haas boss.
Despite out-qualifying Magnussen at both races so far this season, his returning team mate Nico Hulkenberg remains one of seven drivers yet to score this year, along with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda and Nyck de Vries, Williams’ Logan Sargeant, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, and the McLaren pair of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.