Kevin Magnussen did not share the fans’ enthusiasm for the duels that occurred in the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix – as he was often the one being overtaken.
The Dane was running fifth early in a wet start to the race at Imola after being a beneficiary of the collision between Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz, in which Valtteri Bottas also unwittingly became involved.
Their travails meant Magnussen jumped from his grid position of eighth to fifth, but that was as good as things got for the Haas driver as he gradually slipped backwards during the course of the race.
First to pass him was George Russell in the Mercedes on lap 12, followed by the recovering Bottas in the Alfa Romeo two laps later.
Having subsequently admitted his pit-stop for medium slick tyres had been slightly later than ideal, and also a touch on the slow side, Magnussen was undercut by Sebastian Vettel’s Aston Martin.
That dropped him down to eighth, and his eventual finishing position was ninth – nevertheless worthy of two points – as he was also overtaken by Yuki Tsunoda on lap 48 as the AlphaTauri driver charged his way up to seventh by also getting past Vettel.
We scored points in both sprint race and main race. We’re still in a solid position in the midfield, and I'm really excited for the next race in Miami in two weeks. Good job by everyone at @HaasF1Team 👊 #HaasF1 #F1 pic.twitter.com/zru0zcga18
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) April 24, 2022
At times it was not the most entertaining grand prix, even when DRS was belatedly enabled on lap 34 of 63, but Magnussen was irritated that he was the fall guy in some of the action the spectators did see.
“Maybe [they] were good to watch, but they were annoying for me because I was being attacked and overtaken,” Magnussen told Viaplay of his on-track battles.
“It was one of those weekends when I was defending all the time because we got ourselves in a good position in either qualifying or the first lap in the main race, so I don’t think we could have got much more.
“With the perfect pit-stop I could have been probably P8, but anyway that’s what we got and we’ve got to be happy with that.”
Magnussen admitted the “late” pit-stop to which he had referred in a separate interview had actually been his call.
“We were perhaps a little too slow to react,” said the 29-year-old, who now has 15 points since his return to the Haas team this year to sit 10th in the Drivers’ standings.
“I told the team not to be too fast [to change to slicks] as I didn’t want to risk anything as we were in a good position at that point.
“That was maybe the wrong call as we ended up getting undercut, but we live and learn.”
Magnussen continues to lead the way for Haas
Kevin Magnussen's return to F1 has given Haas the boost they need, as they once again walk away with some valuable points.