Why new team boss Komatsu felt Australia ‘wasn’t perfect’ for Haas despite ‘amazing’ double points finish

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - FEBRUARY 29: Haas F1 Team Principal Ayao Komatsu and Peter Crolla, Team Manager

While Ayao Komatsu was suitably delighted with Haas’s haul of points at the Australian Grand Prix, he believes there is more to come from the team going forward after admitting Kevin Magnussen’s strategy “wasn’t right”.

Magnussen followed team mate Nico Hulkenberg home at Albert Park as the Haas machines crossed the line in ninth and 10th, marking their first double score since Austria in 2022 and adding to the German’s top 10 finish at the previous round in Saudi Arabia.

READ MORE: ‘It’s very encouraging’ – Hulkenberg and Magnussen hail ‘teamwork’ as Haas score double points finish in Australia

Following a winter of upheaval at Haas, which saw Komatsu take over from Guenther Steiner as team boss and technical chief Simone Resta depart, the results marked a welcome return for the operation.

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“It’s amazing,” Komatsu told Sky Sports F1. “Two races in a row, as well. Also qualifying, you saw how we struggled, but we knew we had good race pace.

“Honestly, the whole team effort, two pit stops that were really, really tight, the boys did an amazing job to get our drivers out [ahead] of our competition. It’s an amazing team effort and I couldn’t be happier.”

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At this point, though, Komatsu highlighted one element that could have been better, saying the decision to bring Magnussen in for an early stop after just seven laps needlessly compromised his race.

“If I’m honest, our race operation wasn’t completely perfect – we could have done one thing better,” added Komatsu, with Magnussen also asked to move aside for Hulkenberg – who later pitted under a Virtual Safety Car – on their differing strategies, as had been the case at Jeddah.

JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA - MARCH 08: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany and Haas F1 and Kevin Magnussen of

Hulkenberg and Magnussen gave Haas their first double points finish since Austria 2022

“Kevin’s [early] first pit stop, that strategy wasn’t right, so that’s something we’ve got to look into. The same in Bahrain, we can’t keep making those mistakes.

“But honestly, for the whole team, I’m so happy. These guys always work hard, leave nothing unturned and I’m so happy for the team.”

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Thanks to their back-to-back points finishes, Haas now sit seventh in the constructors’ standings, ahead of Williams, Kick Sauber and Alpine, who are all yet to score.


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