'That was some driving' – Magnussen applauds Vettel's last gasp overtake as Haas finally get back in the points
Haas started their home race weekend on a high thanks to a new title sponsorship deal for next season, and they ended it in the ascendency too after scoring their first points since Austria courtesy of Kevin Magnussen’s stellar drive to P8.
The Dane had started 13th and found himself running last after being baulked by the spinning Ferrari of Carlos Sainz on the first lap. He then put in a superb stint as he climbed back through the field, being the only driver to gamble on a one-stop strategy. Although he lost out to the more freshly shod Sebastian Vettel on a thrilling last lap, he was pretty satisfied with how his afternoon went.
“I’m super happy. For us as a team, it’s very important to get these points at our home race in the US – and it’s very big on the weekend that we announce a great title sponsor with MoneyGram – it couldn’t come at a better time,” he said afterwards.
That last lap overtake by Vettel had the fans on their feet, with the German trying to get alongside the Haas through multiple corners and Magnussen playing fair and giving him enough room as he slithered around in defence, trying to extract any remaining grip from 38-lap old medium tyres.
“Of course, I’m gutted to lose a position to Sebastian. I have to say it was some driving from him, that’s when you really realise why he’s a four-time world champion,” Magnussen continued, the racer in him coming to the fore. "As much as it p***** me off it was impressive to see.
“The strategy that we pulled off was purely by guidance with the team. As such a small team to put on a fight like this, it’s great.”
While their strategy could have been viewed as a gamble, team boss Guenther Steiner didn’t see it that way, with a Plan B always in mind.
“The whole team did a fantastic job, you cannot ask for more as the car was fast and Kevin was sure he could get to the end with his tyres,” he said. “I wouldn’t say we took a gamble, we took a chance, but we had a back up strategy to go onto the soft tyres and we brought home some points.”