Hulkenberg pleased to ‘steal’ another point for Haas as Magnussen rues costly contact with Tsunoda


Nico Hulkenberg expressed his satisfaction after taking advantage of a drama-filled Chinese Grand Prix to give Haas another points finish and boost the team’s position in the constructors’ standings.

Haas entered the season significantly playing down their expectations after a winter managerial reshuffle that involved Ayao Komatsu replacing Guenther Steiner in the Team Principal role, but the VF-24 has been a regular points-scorer so far.

MONDAY MORNING DEBRIEF: How an Alonso cameo helped Norris prevent a Red Bull 1-2 in China

While Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Aston Martin are the five fastest teams on paper, Haas have taken advantage of incidents and retirements to log top-10 finishes in Saudi Arabia, Australia (with both cars) and now China.

Hulkenberg converted ninth on the grid into 10th during Sunday’s race, which saw Kick Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas retire due to engine woes and both RBs fail to finish after Daniel Ricciardo got struck by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll under the Safety Car and Yuki Tsunoda got spun around by the other Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

Hulkenberg chuffed with ‘well controlled’ run to the points in China

“It’s never a walk in the park,” the German said afterwards. “But I think it was well managed, well controlled from our side, so I’m very positive and happy about that, that we got the one point which was up for grabs.

“It shows one of the top five cars [Stroll] had a problem and obviously that’s the spot we kind of stole because of it. Otherwise, it’s not really possible to race with them. It also just shows that we need to have a perfect Saturday in quali and Sunday to be able to be where we are.”

READ MORE: Alonso reflects on ‘crazy race’ in China after nearly crashing while Stroll gives his take on penalty for ‘weird’ incident

As touched on above, it was not such a positive day for Hulkenberg’s team mate, Magnussen, who was attempting a one-stop strategy when he made contact with Tsunoda at Turn 6 in an incident that forced the Dane back to the pits with a puncture.

“It wasn’t really our day,” he reflected post-race. “I started P17, had a bad qualifying [on Saturday], and took the consequence of that today. Sometimes you can make it back, but today we couldn’t.”

He continued: “I was always off on tyres… it seemed like I was slow compared to everyone else, but I attempted a one-stop and it didn’t work out. I pitted for hards and the Safety Car came because of the incident with Yuki and I had a puncture on the hard.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix: Drama on the restart as Stroll hits Ricciardo and Magnussen knocks out Tsunoda

“We [then] had to fit the medium and effectively do a one-stop anyway. I think still, the fact that we even managed to sort of do a one-stop is a sign that things are working well with the car, but we just didn’t manage the race very well today.”

After a weekend of contrasting fortunes for their two cars, Haas will now get set for the first of three home races at the Miami International Autodrome, which comes before visits to Austin and Las Vegas later in the season.

READ MORE: Hamilton ‘grateful just to get points’ in China as Russell admits Mercedes have ‘work to do’ before Miami

“Obviously it’s straight into another Sprint weekend, [which is] always challenging,” added Hulkenberg as he looked ahead. “I expect a hot race again. I’m not sure quite what to expect. I mean, I liked it there, last year was my first time, so I’m just happy to go!”

Hulkenberg’s third top-10 finish in five races keeps Haas seventh in the constructors’ standings on five points, two behind RB but a solid margin clear of Williams, Alpine and Kick Sauber, who are all still yet to score.



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