Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Albert Park, 2024

‘This year we wake up knowing we can fight’: Haas pair hail double points finish

Formula 1

Posted on

| Written by

Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg said the team has been reinvigorated this year after their double points finish in the Australian Grand Prix.

Magnussen scored his points finish of the season when George Russell’s crash on the penultimate lap promoted to 10th place. He finished immediately behind his team mate, having let Hulkenberg overtake him earlier in the race when ordered to by the team.

Two weeks earlier in Jeddah, Magnussen played a vital role in helping Hulkenberg score their first point of the year by tactically slowing the field behind him. He said their double score yesterday was down to “great teamwork once again.”

“The VSC didn’t help me,” said Magnussen, “but on the flip-side, it helped Nico so we could get him back into the battle and it’s fantastic to get three points here.”

The team’s performance over the first three races of the new season is a contrast to last year, when they sank to last place in the constructors’ championship.

“It’s very encouraging and it’s a different way to go racing,” he said. “Last year we woke up on race day knowing it’s not going to be good. Today, I woke up knowing we would have a chance to fight, and it was true.

“We were stronger with our race pace than qualifying, and we just need to keep working in this direction.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Hulkenberg was grateful for his team mate’s help again. “The first VSC helped me and I overtook a car at each of my stops at the pit exit. That really made my race today, that together with the VSC and our teamwork – so I’m really happy.”

In 2023 the Haas drivers regularly qualified well but slipped back in the race. Hulkenberg echoed Magnussen’s view the team has made strides in reversing that trend.

“I feel more encouraged today that the car felt better than in qualifying, which is different from last year, but it’s practical to have it this way around.”

Before the season began new team principal Ayao Komatsu, who replaced Guenther Steiner in January, predicted they would be “towards the back of the grid, if not last.” Three races in they have scored four points and lie seventh in the championship.

He said Haas’ first double points finish since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix was the product of a “great team effort.” However he saw room for improvement in their performance.

“After yesterday’s qualifying I said we expected to have better race pace but to be able to get double points is better than expected, so it just goes to show that you need to be there,” said Komatsu. “You need to do everything perfect to be able to pick up those last available positions.

“It wasn’t perfect today, there’s some things that we need to improve, but overall, I’m so happy for the team. Both drivers drove a brilliant race, and the pit stop crew, when it was critical, they delivered, they got our drivers out in front of the competition.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2024 Australian Grand Prix

Browse all 2024 Australian Grand Prix articles

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

13 comments on “‘This year we wake up knowing we can fight’: Haas pair hail double points finish”

  1. I am happy for Haas. I think Steiner was probably holding them back. This team is more methodical and working towards points rather than working towards making storylines for its boss and his beloved DTS.

    Having said that, inspite of three hard earned points finishes, Tsunoda and Mastercard are still ahead at 6 points. Important to keep improving the car.

    1. Disagree with most of this. Steiner was not the one who designed a rubbish car last year. Design team led by Resta did. You speak as if this turnaround happened after Steiner left. This car that they are racing now was designed on Steiner’s watch same as useless 2023 car. Same as the much better 2022 car. If you’re gonna criticize Steiner for 2023 let’s remember all of the above as well. Otherwise this is like a Steiner-hater post on X. Next year if the car is last again because Komatsu sold Gene a tale that you can succeed with peanuts instead of ramping up investment, what will you say? ( not saying that will happen, only saying that can happen).

      I do agree that they need to keep working hare. If their development is their usual they’ll probably finish last again not just behind Mastercard bull.

    2. Yes, good they’re doing better without steiner, didn’t like him, however there’s also those comments “we’re the only american team, we’re adding value to f1, andretti isn’t” that makes it hard to have any sympathy for this team.

  2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    25th March 2024, 9:43

    They were however lucky that there were 3 dnfs ahead as well as Sauber messing up the race for bottas.

    1. & Zhou as well, but they indeed were lucky with a few factors, so not wholly relatively representative.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        25th March 2024, 16:24

        Yes, they did mess it up for Zhou, but Zhou wasn’t on target for a finishing position ahead of the haax drivers whereas bottas was.

    2. True, but they also were unlucky that their best qualifier was impeded by Perez in qualifying and therefore wasn’t starting from a representative position.

      And most important is not the finishing position. It’s the fact, and it is indeed a fact not an opinion, after 3 races on very different circuits, that their car has vastly superior tire usage to last year’s car.

  3. There was some luck for Hulk with the VSC, but they certainly have the race pace in the car to be at the head of the midfield. Everyone in the bottom 5 teams are reliant on cars from the top 5 teams not making it to the end of the race, or having an absolutely dreadful race. What’s important is to be first in line to inherit those points, yesterday that was Tsunoda and the Haas.

    Haas are doing well with what they’ve got, and they’ve made a clear step in how they treat their tyres. What’s important now is showing they can actually develop their car across the course of a season for once. Otherwise they’ll be very dependent on maximising these early races.

    1. Sure, there was luck involved. But Haas did exactly what they needed to be able to profit from this chance.

      The team really IS starting to look like a serious team and less like the “best meme on the grid” factory.

    2. They made their own luck. They put Hulk on the hards to start in hopes that would happen. So it’s part luck but also part preparation. Good on ’em.

  4. Given how Haas tends to fade as the season goes on, it’s very important for them to be there to pick up the scraps. So, well done so far. Their fight is probably with Sauber and Williams, with Red Bull being a big too far ahead.

    Still not something that impressive of course, but it is what it is.

    1. I feel like that when HAAS do well in Australia then that’s it for the rest of the year, lets see if history repeats or 4 points is all they get.

  5. Good effort noted, but a bit lucky with both Mercs falling out.
    Still, the mid-pack races this year are great.

Comments are closed.