'The craziness continues!' – Magnussen ecstatic with P5 on F1 return
Kevin Magnussen continued his dream return to Formula 1 by ending Haas’ 28-race wait for a point with a sensational fifth in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Dane was called up as a full-time replacement for Nikita Mazepin just over a week ago, having last raced in F1 back in 2020. He hit the ground running, qualifying a superb seventh before converting that into P5, helped in part by the late retirement of both Red Bulls.
“This craziness just continues,” he said. “We had a really good race, the car was good all the way through – we had a little more degradation than we had hoped for on the first set [of tyres].
“I also got passed a few people that were faster than me, so I didn’t really know whether to try and keep them behind or to kind of let them go, and I also locked up a little bit.
“That first stint maybe wasn’t perfect but then from there, even though we pitted earlier than planned, we kind of extended that second stint on the same tyre, extended it to get back on plan, then had a Safety Car at the end that put us and everyone on the same tyre and just a sprint race to the end, which was intense.
“Obviously, a bit of luck there at the end with the two Red Bulls but we will take that.”
He added: “I can’t wait for the rest of the year, I just want to keep going.”
Haas now sit third in the constructors’ championship with 10 points, which is more than they have scored in the last two seasons combined. It’s also only the fifth time that a Haas has finished inside the top five in their history.
“If you think about the last two years and then coming back like this, you cannot write a story like this in my opinion,” said Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “But the guys on the racetrack, for the last two years they had tough times but they kept their heads [down], learned, and the pit stops today were good, and everything was just fine.
“They took the last year to get ready for a better car and the guys delivered a good car this year. It’s all down to the team. They can all be very proud. I am very proud of them.
“It’s just fantastic, I can’t say more but it’s all down to the team. Kevin did a fantastic job, for him a comeback like this he would not have dreamed of, but things happen in life – a month ago it was a completely different scenario and now all of a sudden, we are fifth.”
Mick Schumacher just missed out on his first World Championship point with 11th – but he was on the back foot after being spun round by Esteban Ocon on the opening lap.
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