Guenther Steiner felt Kevin Magnussen could not have done anything more on Sunday, with the Dane claiming an excellent eighth place finish despite a tough Mexican Grand Prix weekend for the Haas F1 Team up until race day.
Magnussen was under the weather on Friday and was given permission to miss the post-practice drivers briefing in order to recover further in his hotel room, only to find himself and team-mate Romain Grosjean at the very back of the field during Qualifying.
Magnussen started fourteenth on the grid following grid penalties for Daniel Ricciardo, Brendon Hartley, Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne, and made early gains to run as high as seventh, before losing one position to the recovering Sebastian Vettel.
However Steiner, Team Principal at Haas, felt Magnussen’s pace was strong, and being able to keep both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton behind him in the closing laps proved that the result was far from a lucky one.
“Ten out of 10,” said Steiner to Motorsport.com. “He couldn’t do any more, with our car, to keep Hamilton and Alonso behind. That is the highlight of it, but all race he didn’t put a foot wrong.
“We didn’t luck into it, we earned it, we were in the right place at the right time obviously. But if the opportunity is given he could go the speed… his times were very respectable so it wasn’t like we got lucky. It was a fantastic drive.”
The result of the Mexican Grand Prix proved that no one within the Haas team are prepared to give up, with opportunities like this not coming to those who do not believe.
“No one gave up and you saw that today – starting with the driver which didn’t give up,” said Steiner. “If you go to the start of an F1 race as a beaten man, you will never get points.
“I think we got an opportunity given to us and we took it. He did a fantastic job. You can’t do much better than that.
“The car was a little bit better in the race than in qualifying – obviously because we were last in qualifying!”