The Haas F1 Team were overall pleased with the ‘solid’ performances they were able to put in at the Sakhir Grand Prix on Sunday under the floodlights at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Kevin Magnussen started the race in fifteenth place, holding on to his position at the end of the race. His team-mate, Pietro Fittipaldi, who is sitting in for the injured Romain Grosjean, started in twentieth place, working his way up to seventeenth by the chequered flag.
Fittipaldi said his main goal for the weekend was to finish the race – which he was able to do. He also notes how difficult it is to get the opportunity to race in Formula 1, and believes he has learnt a lot ahead of his next outing with the team in the final race of the season at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi next weekend..
“I’m happy to have finished my first grand prix – that was the goal. I had a good battle at the end with Jack (Aitken), and I had Kevin (Magnussen) in front of me as well. It was good to get some action in there. My pace was quite good from mid-race through to the end.
“At the restart I was trying to fight, but I was conscious at the same time that the goal was to finish. I’ve learned a lot for my next race, that’s the most important thing. It’s very difficult nowadays to make it to Formula 1 but I can say I’ve finished a Formula 1 race. I’m thankful to the team for the opportunity.”
In contrast, Magnussen was not as happy with what he had been able to achieve in the race. The Dane found himself towards the back of the pack for much of the evening and ended up finishing where he started, despite the retirements of Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen ahead of him.
“We were just slow today, there was no chance for us to do anything,” said Magnussen, who has just one more race to go in Formula 1 before he moves to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021. “We weren’t able to compete; the pace just wasn’t there for us.
“No matter what happened in the race we’d have needed a lot of people to not finish to be able to reach the points. It was a tough race, you always hope something can happen, but it didn’t today. We’ll look at everything tonight and see if there are any positives we can take from the day.”
“We know we have to improve everywhere” – Guenther Steiner
Team principal Guenther Steiner was more positive reflecting on the drivers’ performance, adding they are looking forward to the last race of the year and the off season.
“We finished the race with both cars without any major drama,” said Steiner. “We’re not happy with the positions we’ve finished the race in, but we know we have to improve everywhere.
“Pietro (Fittipaldi) did a good job in his first race having not driven a Formula 1 car in a year. He drove a solid race; he couldn’t have done much more – the same goes for Kevin (Magnussen). We now look forward to the final race of the season and then a well-earned winter break.”