Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen finished sixth and ‘best of the rest’ after an impressive display in Melbourne.
His sixth placed finish earned him eight points and it was Magnussen’s best result in the Australian Grand Prix since 2014, when he finished second.
After starting seventh on the Albert Park grid, Magnussen overtook his teammate Romain Grosjean on the straight into turn one.
However, he was quickly given a new challenge as Renault F1 Team driver Nico Hulkenberg charged down the Dane.
And it was the story of Magnussen’s race as he jostled with Hulkenberg throughout the 58 laps but eventually pulled out a four-second lead over the German.
Magnussen said: “I’m very happy about today, it was a good result. P6 for me is very good, I’m happy with the day.
“I made a good start and had a really good car from there. I was able to push the whole race and look after my tyres. I’m really happy to start the year like this.”
It was a mixed afternoon for the American team as Grosjean failed to finish and was forced to retire on lap 29.
Grosjean’s retirement came after a disastrous pit stop for Haas on lap 15 as the pit crew took an age trying to attach the left-front tyre.
The tyre error would later see the Frenchman retire his car because of a loose front-left and Magnussen was left gutted for his teammate.
He added: “I’m obviously sad for team not to have both cars get to the finish. Surely Romain would have been in a good position as well, especially after we both had such good qualifying yesterday, so I’m gutted for his side that they didn’t get anything out of today.”
Magnussen’s finish equalled Haas’ best ever finish in the Australian Grand Prix, after Grosjean also clinched sixth at the team’s debut race in 2016.
Haas stand fourth in the constructors’ standings after the season opener and will be hoping their rich form continues into Bahrain in two weeks’.