Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Magnussen thanks Haas for ‘great car I had nothing to do with’ after fifth on return

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen said he couldn’t believe the opportunity he’d been given after taking fifth place on his return to Formula 1 with Haas.

Just 11 days after being announced as Nikita Mazepin‘s replacement at the team, Magnussen finished behind the Ferrari and Mercedes drivers in yesterday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

“I enjoyed it a lot,” said Magnussen. “It’s so good to be back in this position.

“I’ve just got to say a massive well done to the team, getting this car into this position. We were the strongest car in the midfield.”

Magnussen ran ahead of George Russell’s Mercedes at one point. “I could actually see the Mercedes for almost the whole race,” he said. “I know we’ve got a Safety Car at the end, so that helped a little with that.

“But it was just a different story to in the past. I’m so thankful again, I keep saying this all weekend that I just can’t believe this opportunity that I’ve got here. P5 today is crazy.”

His return to Haas came about after the team dropped Mazepin after it severed its ties with his father’s company Uralkali. The two Russians have since been sanctioned by the European Union in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Magnussen therefore had no input into the development of the car which he drove for the first time in pre-season testing. “The team has done an amazing job,” he said. “This is all down to them, I had nothing to do with this car. I just came in and drove it when it was done and it’s a great car.”

However he expects top-five finishes will be harder to come by in the following races. He gained two places in the final laps when Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez retired.

“We’ve just got to focus on that midfield,” he said. “I think [Valtteri] Bottas and [Pierre] Gasly look like they are going to be [close], and [Fernando] Alonso. We can also say [Esteban] Ocon.

“The midfield is kind of our focus. We know that we got lucky with the two Red Bulls. If we can finish P7 in Jeddah, it’s the same as today, basically. We were just lucky today with getting four more points than we would have with P7.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
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25 comments on “Magnussen thanks Haas for ‘great car I had nothing to do with’ after fifth on return”

  1. Nice of him to still acknowledged there’s Mazepin and Uralkali contribution to this year Haas car.

    1. Mazepin developed the car :))

  2. Pretty amazing return. One that any driver would dream of.. I was hoping for a return like this for Robert Kubica, but the stars didnt align. It is an amazing result also considering how much ahead of Schumacher he was in qualifying and race. I wander how Mazepin would have gone? maybe the same? i think as usual slightly behind Schumacher, so Magnussen made the difference i think.

  3. So Magnussen thinks it was luck that meant they got 5th, but Lewis doesn’t think it was luck he got 3rd? Discuss. :-)

    Just kidding, I don’t want to start another argument :-)

    1. Well, the commentary on Danish television was all about HAM “being gifted” a podium, and MAG “fighting” his way to fifth. So there….

      Guess it must have been two different Red Bulls that failed in front of each of them.

    2. but Lewis doesn’t think it was luck he got 3rd?

      Not so, it was evident from the way he spoke when interviewed by Martin Brundle after the race, that he never expected to finish on the podium. I prefer to think of the results as showing God takes an interest in F1.

  4. Even if thinking such a scenario still seems utopic, I don’t entirely rule out a win for him in the next race if all things align & fall for him & Haas as Jeddah Corniche Circuit has a high chance for surprises.

    1. @jerejj Now that would be a feel-good result.

  5. I’m unsure if Kevin is right that Haas are at the front of the midfield – could be Mercedes.

    1. Leclerc was at the front of the midfield.

    2. @red-andy I don’t really think Merc are being considered midfield so much as the very back of the leaders…?

    3. If you look at the timings for the race, Alfa Romeo looks to be the team to beat in the midfield. Haas is second. Between the two the difference could be as little as the time spent at pitstops.
      The Mercedes had a surplus in speed against Haas even on the hard tyre in their middle stint and mirroring Alfas on the medium compound. It won’t be a battle between Haas/Alfa/Mercedes unless its a track were they can out-qualify/gain positions at the start and keep them behind. Im thinking Monaco or perhaps in Australia. Mercedes tired everything to force the cars ahead to think differently and wasn’t worried about the cars behind them and they failed with their strategy. If they start focussing on the cars behind them instead, it won’t be anything near a battle.

      Right now the timings suggest a midfield – in order: Alfa Romeo, Haas, Alpine, Alpha Tauri, Aston Martin.
      McLaren and Williams are the backmarkers. Aston Martin wasn’t too far of the pace – the race just didn’t come to them and trafic hurt a lot. With Vettel back there is a bigger possibility that they are in the midfield fight and not the backmarker they looked like.

      We also have to take into account that Bahrain have been one of both Magnussens and Gasly’s best tracks historically and that they were for the most of the race running in free air. And that the start were the biggest factor between Bottas and Magnussens result.

      1. Yes, this makes a lot of sense, I agree with the running order.

  6. I know this is all speculation (as well as ignoring what they would do for funding), but I can’t help but feel this validates the fans’ views that they should never have taken on Mazepin in the first place. Schumacher showed himself to be fairly consistently better than Mazepin, but he didn’t even make it into the points where KMag came 5th. Had they not been forced to get rid of Nikita by the Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, I strongly doubt they would have gained any points, let alone run at the front of the midfield all race.

    1. This is as disingenuous as it gets. Haas needed the money from both pay drivers. Schumacher is in the same realm as Mazepin. Look what happens when they get a mediocre, journeyman and Schumacher is nowhere.

      1. I’d like to see Gasly on Haas maybe next year? That would be great combo.

      2. @ Darryn, Definitely mediocre journeyman. I mean, with all the testing he has had, and knowing for sure that the Haas is better than the Ferrari, Red Bull, Merc and, well, all the other cars, it really is proof of said mediocraty to qualify seventh with a hydralic steering issue. I reckon the Haas must be 1 sec faster per lap right, so being 1 sec behind Verstappen and 0,6 sec behind Hamilton in quali is down to the journeyman losing 2 seconds then.. must be, because its impossible that the Haas is actually slower and he, given the same cars, could then have qualified quite equal to those guys.
        Out-qualifying Schumacher whom out-qualified Mazepin 20/20 is also nothing, because when Schumacher became F2 champ that counts for nothing at all. Illot and Schwartzman and the rest of those F2 talents cant drive right?
        Out of curiosity, what would it take for a driver to impress you?
        In your optics im worried for the likes of Gasly, Norris, Ricciardo, Alonso, Ocon, etc. etc. They all need retire tomorrow surely…

      3. I don’t understand your comment, if you read again the comment you replied to, you should see you 2 agree, you’re both saying magnussen > schumacher > mazepin.

        1. To derogatorily call Magnussen a “mediocre journeyman” is quite elitist. By that standard the Haas is the best car on the grid because only Ferraris, RedBulls and Mercs are ahead, but not by much, so if those drivers are really so much better, it must have been the Haas car that closed the gap to the top teams, which given the discrepancy in resources and staffing, I find hard to believe.
          … Im not saying Magnussen is WDC, but by Darryns standards theres probably only like 5 proper drivers in the world and half the grid is undeserving of being in F1. Truth is that all drivers Russell, Hamilton, Leclerc, Gasly, Norris and Ricciardo and Magnussen, being examples, need to feel good in their car to deliver results, but that absolutely no one deserve to be described as mediocre when they can perform as theyve done on their peaks with the relative machinery at their disposal.

          1. He is a mediocre journeyman. Name a single season people were getting excited about his performances. If you can’t, there’s a pretty good chance he’s just what the guy named him. If you’re comparing him to some off the worst pay drivers we’ve seen in the last ten years, than no he isn’t mediocre.

          2. @ Nick T. No, Im simply comparing him to Alonso, Bottas, Norris, Ricciardo, Ocon and all the rest of whom he outraced yesterday with no testing, in a Haas. But Im sure those guys all deserve excuses right, because theyre inherently brilliant, and the fact that their teams all have bigger budgets than Haas, the smallest on the grid, doesnt matter.
            ps. I do think those drivers are excellent drivers! (theyre just not by any standard in a different league entirely to the performance I saw this ‘mediocre’ driver deliver this weekend). Cheers, enjoy.

  7. Great result for Magnussen and Haas.

    But my overwhelming reaction to the weekend is how poorly this reflects on Schumacher (and the management that allowed a Schumacher/Mazepin lineup last year).

    1. An AWESOME result for Magnussen. To be best of the not front-runners in the first race with minimal testing time is fantastic. Was it down to luck? Possibly, but you have the capability to make your luck, to some extent, and he did.
      Has Magnussen down-graded Schumacher, quite possibly. The next BUT is … very likely this is the wake-up call that Schumacher needs. Expect him to perform at a higher level now that he has a bench-mark to catch.
      The result also shows up the value of experience. Something that Magnussen has and Schumacher is working on.
      I hope that this result helps Haas to land some additional sponsorship. It should.
      The Schumacher/Mazepin linup last year is under$tandable. Unfortunate, but now it’s done. Onward.

  8. Great result, Mr Magnussen just jumped in the car and got into 5th, well deserved after 2 years of purgatory. Although I feel I need to highlight the sad paradox of this fairy tale:
    Haas has to thank the war in Ukraine for their result.

  9. So if Mazepins still there its 11th and 13th. Not so good.

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