'We have one more point than a few hours ago' – Pole-sitter Magnussen satisfied with P8 finish in Sao Paulo Sprint
Kevin Magnussen took his first pole in Formula 1 on Friday – and while he couldn't maintain the position in Saturday’s Sprint in Sao Paulo, the Dane and his Team Principal Guenther Steiner were more than happy to finish in P8 – taking the last point in the Sprint.
Starting from P1, Magnussen led the first two laps of the Sprint but was quickly passed by the Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes drivers, leaving him running in seventh by Lap 15 of 24.
The Haas racer then looked to fend off the challenge of the McLaren of Lando Norris before the Briton overtook him on Lap 19, leaving him to come home in P8. And speaking after the Sprint, Magnussen reflected on what he said had been a “pretty good weekend” thus far.
“It was always going to be unrealistic to keep those guys behind and I didn’t want to try,” said Magnussen. “I knew the battle was going to be around P7, P8, which ended up being right, and I didn’t want to lose any time with getting overtaken. And also, I’d look after my tyres, etcetera.
“A little bit of a boring phase of the race – of course I enjoyed getting away on the line and leading the first couple of laps, but I knew it was going to happen after that, that these cars would get ahead. Really happy to get a point, you know, can’t believe what happened yesterday still, and you know, got a point today, so, so far it has been a pretty good weekend.”
As things stand, Magnussen will line up in P8 on the grid, alongside Sebastian Vettel on the fourth row. When asked what he can expect from tomorrow’s race, Magnussen said: “I don’t know, Seb was faster than me of course, but I don’t know.
“I’ll have to go and look at how his whole stint was because I was obviously getting overtaken a lot this race and that just hurts your tyre degradation, but tomorrow hopefully we’ll be in a better position to stay where we are and just manage the tyres and hopefully, we can stay where we are.”
Haas Team Principal Steiner was satisfied with the day's outcome as he praised the work of Magnussen and his team mate Mick Schumacher – who made his way up to 12th after starting the Sprint in 20th.
“I’m happy. I said if we got points, I’m happy,” said Steiner. “You know, we were fighting a little bit with Norris, but it is better to have one [point] than nothing. So, I think Kevin did a good job and Mick as well put himself in a good spot tomorrow from the start, from P20 to 12th, not too bad.
"We should be starting seventh and 12th tomorrow, so we’ve got another chance tomorrow... [Kevin] was well in control. Just raced his race, trying to get some points because we need them urgently. Its good because we have one more point than a few hours ago.”