After registering his second sixth place of the season, Kevin Magnussen lauded the Haas F1 Team‘s efforts, saying that they “got everything right” at the French Grand Prix.
Magnussen enjoyed a clean race, steering clear of the first lap chaos involving Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas on his way to eight valuable championship points. The result sees Haas move clear of Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda and gain ground on the sixth placed Sahara Force India F1 Team, who failed to score.
“It was a good race and we had a good car,” beamed Magnussen. “We got everything right.
“It was a good race for us, and very happy to come back from the disappointment of yesterday. We knew we were still standing in a position of where we could probably do something good in the race, and it was our day today.”
Magnussen saw his qualifying compromised by team-mate Romain Grosjean‘s crash that brought out the red flags in Q3, leaving him ninth on the grid.
The Dane stopped on lap 29, after stretching the ultra-soft tyres he started on, for a set of soft compound rubber. He admitted that he struggled for rear end grip on the purple-walled tyres due to overheating. Magnussen added that the recovering Bottas forced him to take more of his second set of tyres than he had hoped to – but remained grateful for the extra performance found.
“I was struggling quite a bit on the ultra-softs there in the first stint, just overheating and sliding around on the rears,” he explained. “For some reason, the front tyres were working really well and the rear tires were struggling.
“Still, the degradation for us was quite low even though the balance was off. When we put the softs on, I kind of started out looking after them a little bit,” he added.
“Then when I got under pressure from Bottas, I really started pushing, and then the tyres came alive even more and I found four-tenths, half a second more.
“It was just what I needed.”
Sixth place ensures Magnussen position in the top ten of the Drivers’ Championship is a little safer – he now holds a nine point gap over Pierre Gasly in eleventh. Because of Grosjean’s failure to score at the Circuit Paul Ricard, the former McLaren F1 Team and Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver remains Haas’s sole scorer of the 2018 season so far.