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‘Justice for Australia!’ – Magnussen hails Haas' best-ever result

01 Jul 2018

“You deserve this, justice for Australia – now we are back!” Having seen both the team’s cars retire in Melbourne’s season opener when on course for a memorable P4 and P5, Kevin Magnussen reserved special praise for Haas on Sunday after he helped them achieve that result in Austria, for their best ever points haul in Formula 1…

The American team suffered heartbreak in Australia back in March when Magnussen and team mate Romain Grosjean, running fourth and fifth respectively, both stopped on the lap following pit stops, with it later emerging that cross-threaded wheel nuts caused the double DNF.

So when Lewis Hamilton’s retirement on Lap 64 at the Austrian Grand Prix pushed Grosjean up to P4 with Magnussen right behind him, there would have no doubt been a few fingers crossed in the Haas garage.

And to their delight their drivers held on, with Grosjean bringing home his first points of the season and Magnussen notching up his fifth top-ten finish in 2018, a combination that means a happy Haas leave Spielberg with a team-record 22-point haul.

“Well done guys. You deserve this. Justice for Australia. Now we are back,” declared Magnussen over team radio moments after crossing the line. “It feels great, I’m so proud of the team.

"It’s such a great day for the team. We had a tough weekend in Australia. So today, it feels justice for them,” the Dane added after the race.

And Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner echoed Magnussen's comments, hailing the team for making their 50th Grand Prix in Formula 1 a race to remember.

"It's redemption. We got back (from the disappointment). The team were never demoralised. Everybody knows the potential of the car. And if you know that, it will come if you work hard. It’s fantastic, at our 50th race, to finish fourth and fifth. It’s for the guys and you can imagine how happy they are. Both cars in the points, Romain scoring for the first time this year. It’s a very successful weekend."

Meanwhile, Magnussen’s fifth place moves him ahead of McLaren's Fernando Alonso and into seventh in the drivers’ standings, a position he is hoping to hold on to for the rest of the season.

“That’s incredible. That would be an amazing target for me to do this year. Seventh is best of the rest. You’ve got these three teams that realistically, no one other than those three can fight. If I can be seventh in the championship, that means I have won my own little championship.”

In a car that was clearly the fourth best on the grid in Spielberg, Magnussen is beginning to deliver results, but he is aware that the team need to continue their recent impressive form.

“Our weakness is still consistency. It’s not outright pace in the car. It’s getting this level out of the car at every track. We’ve seen this year that even though the car is very good, we can have some off weekends like we did in Monaco and even in Montreal a little bit. It’s a lot better than last year but we need to keep on top and keep this ball rolling.”

Magnussen and Haas will now turn their attention to the final part of F1's inaugural triple header, the British Grand Prix, where they will be hoping to keep the pressure on Renault in the race for fourth place in the constructors' standings. 

“We have been very strong this weekend. On a smooth and high-speed circuit like this, our car just worked really, really well. Who knows (if Haas can finish fourth in the standings)?

“It’s almost frightening to say we could go for fourth because it's too good to be true. People said Force India did a massive job, which they did last year because they are a small team. But we are much smaller than them and now we are fighting for fourth. I'm really, really proud.”

Haas move up to fifth in the constructors’ standings, trailing fourth-placed Renault by 13 points ahead of next weekend’s Grand Prix.