Kevin Magnussen said the Haas car was “a joy to drive” after he cemented his status as the surprise package of the season with another points finish in Saudi Arabia.
With Magnussen at the wheel, Haas has shown they are no longer a backmarker but instead a team that can consistently challenge for points among the midfield places.
In Saudi Arabia, Magnussen was on course for a high finish but came undone when a poorly-timed Virtual Safety Car went against the team’s strategy.
“The worst that could happen, happened,” the 29-year-old said after the race.
“We started on the opposite strategy on the hard tyre and almost everyone else was on medium and the worst thing that could happen was a Safety Car on lap 16/17 and it came at 16. So to still get two points is very good.”
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) March 27, 2022
Despite his frustrations, Magnussen complimented the Haas car and described it as “phenomenal.”
“It is such a joy to drive,” he said.
“We did get a bit of the luck back at the end with the VSC but if that had been a Safety Car instead of VSC, we would have bunched up and perhaps scored big points again.
“Anyway, happy. The team has done a fantastic job and the way we have bounced back from a difficult situation Friday, so happy.”
During qualifying for the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Magnussen said his years out of the sport had not been kind to his neck.
“I’m glad I didn’t have that [practice] preparation because my neck would be done already before qualifying,” Magnussen said.
“My neck just broke in Q3, I just couldn’t drive it anymore, so it’s tough for that.
“When you’ve been out of an F1 car for a year and a track like this – a great track, it’s nothing towards the track – but I’m just not prepared for it.
“I’m glad I’ve got perhaps one of the best physios in the world here with me, Thomas [Jorgensen], and he’ll be able to do his magic hopefully.”
Despite his neck problems, he was able to race but said it was “nowhere” currently.
“The neck is nowhere,” he said after the race.
“So I hope it will come back soon!”