American racing team Haas has done the unthinkable at the Bahrain with recent F1 returnee Kevin Magnussen clinching an astonishing P5 at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday. It has been just over a week that the Danish driver made a return to F1 following an exit in 2020. He had an outstanding qualifying result on Saturday with him finishing at P7. The retirement of the two Red Bull cars at the closing stages of the Bahrain GP somewhat helped his situation.
“This craziness just continues,” said Kevin Magnussen. “We had a really good race, the car was good all the way through – we had a little more degradation than we had hoped for on the first set [of tyres]. The 29-year-old driver also mentioned how surprising it was for him to pass a few drivers who were visibly faster than him.
After the thrilling end to the Bahrain GP, Haas’ Team Principal Guenther Steiner was heard saying on the team radio, “Kevin that was some f****** viking comeback. F****** great, I cannot believe it!”.
Guenther Steiner on team radio:
"Kevin that was some f****** viking comeback. F****** great, I cannot believe it!"
— FormulaRacers (@formularacers_) March 20, 2022
Kevin Magnussen is staying grounded in his assessment of the midfield struggle
Although Kevin Magnussen displayed a lot of poise in Haas’ VF-22, even going head-to-head with the two Mercedes’ W13s on the grid on Sunday, Magnussen knows that Gene Haas’ racing team needs to prioritize their need to stay at the top of the midfield this season.
“We know that we got lucky today with the two Red Bulls (which both retired). If we can finish P7 in Jeddah then it’s the same as today. We were just lucky today with getting four more points than we should have,” added the recent F1 returnee.
In the initial stages of the race, Magnussen exhibited signs of sloppiness, locking up entering Turn 1 on a few instances and enabling other drivers to pass with easier manoeuvres than they should have been. He went on to say that he had chosen to push himself too hard, which turned out to be a bad call.