Guenther Steiner, team principal of Haas F1 Team, says that his driver Kevin Magnussen proved his critics wrong when finishing in the points at the Chinese Grand Prix.
He joined the team following his departure from the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team at the end of last season. Cyril Abiteboul, managing director at Renault, cited his lack of discipline as a cause.
Other sources at Renault and also McLaren Honda Formula One Team, for whom he competed for during 2014 prior to becoming their reserve driver for the following year, have also questioned his commitment. Magnussen has always said that he was never made aware of these opinions.
After enduring an Australian Grand Prix that he’d rather forget due to his first lap collision with Marcus Ericsson, Magnussen almost made it into Q3 at the Chinese Grand Prix, missing out by a mere 0.074 seconds, and completed a incident-free race to finish eighth.
“It’s very important for him, especially after last year where in the second half of the season he got a lot of criticism for what he was not doing,” Haas said. “He proved a point with the result, because he drove a very good race.
“There was nothing wrong with it – it was calm, no mistakes and as good as you can do.”
Team-mate Romain Grosjean narrowly missed out on the points by finishing eleventh, but Steiner insists that Haas has proven itself to be capable of a double-points finish.
“We haven’t done the whole analysis, but it seems that the race pace is pretty good,” he continued. “In Australia we were a bit careful because it’s a special track, but this is a normal track and the car showed what it can do.
“We just need to keep the development pace up because people will start to bring new parts.
“We missed out [on points] in Australia and in China we missed out with the second car.
“We can now score points with two cars – it doesn’t look bad, I would say.”
Steiner did however add that there will be no new car parts available in Bahrain.