Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Hungaroring, 2020

Magnussen hails Haas’s “amazing call” as strategy yields first points finish

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen praised Haas’s strategy after delivering the team’s first points finish of the season at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Ahead of the start of the race on a damp track, Haas brought both its drivers into the pits on the formation lap to switch to slick tyres. It proved the right call, as Magnussen briefly ran third, before finishing the race in ninth position.

“The team took an amazing call for the beginning of the race on the formation lap to call for slicks,” he said. “That was an amazing call from the team. Really strong for them to give me that trust to put me out on dry tyres in those conditions.

“It wasn’t easy and it was risky. So they gave me that choice and it worked out. I was able to get the tyres alive and then move all the way up.

“I started from the pit lane and after a few laps I was [third] or something.”

Magnussen said he didn’t expect to finish the race as high as third and didn’t fight hard against cars which were obviously much quicker than his.

“I had to sort of try to hang onto it as much as I can. I was thinking, trying to judge where I might be able to hang on because there’s no point in trying to hang on to a [fourth or third] because I would just lose too much time.

“So I was thinking and asking the team where do you think I’m going to be and eventually it was [ninth]. I held on to it.”

Magnussen took the chequered flag ahead of both McLarens and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari.

“I opened the gap to a Ferrari – who would have thought that? – and I was able to keep the McLaren, keep him away. That just shows what a good car we have in the race and proves that the team has done an amazing job even though we struggle a little bit in qualifying. We are strong and we can do the races.”

Magnussen was speaking before the stewards announced both Haas drivers are under investigation for allegedly using “driver aids” at the start of the race.

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