Kevin Magnussen picked up Haas’ best result of the season with his seventh place around the streets of Baku, but was excited to have briefly challenged for the podium during a chaotic race which saw two safety cars and a red flag deployed.
The Dane had the measure of team-mate Romain Grosjean all weekend, and took advantage of midfield rivals like Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg failing to finish to secure the team’s best result since last year’s Austrian Grand Prix.
“It was a crazy race with all the Safety Car periods, the red flag – so many things happened,” said a near-exasperated Magnussen. “I stayed out of trouble and had a good balance in the car.”
Magnussen indicated he was not entirely isolated from the issues that had blighted the sister car, with Grosjean complaining all weekend about recurring brake problems.
“The car’s been handling well all weekend – there’s just been some issues with brakes and just not being that competitive on this track and the layout not suiting us. To come away with a seventh-place finish is pretty good.”
Thanks to the tribulations experienced in the first half of the race by the sextet of Mercedes, Ferrari and Force India, Magnussen found himself running in the podium positions not long after the post-red flag restart, a rare moment at the sharp end of the field for Magnussen and his Haas team.
“We were in P3 at one point and I got a bit excited about that. I had some fun out there. It was a great afternoon.”
Grosjean meanwhile did not comment on his performance post-race, having crossed the line as the last car still running, and the only competitor to finish a lap down. The Frenchman has repeatedly expressed his dissatisfaction at the braking systems in his Haas, a continuing theme ever since the honeymoon period of two Top 6 finishes in the team’s first two Formula 1 races wore off.