“Once again we were stronger in race pace than quali pace” — Magnussen on Haas’ double points finish at F1 Australian GP

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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The Dane’s 10th-place in Australia on Sunday was his first points finish of the season.

With Nico Hülkenberg finishing ninth, Haas achieved their first double points since the 2022 Austrian Grand Prix with Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen.

The team has had a very encouraging start under new boss Ayao Komatsu, with Hülkenberg finishing 10th in Saudi Arabia, thanks in large part to Magnussen’s defensive driving.

Tyre wear was a major problem with the 2023 model as the car continually fell backwards in races. The VF-24 is indicating that this is no longer an issue. The drivers can push consistently without the tyres falling off a cliff over a long stint.

“The performance this year in general has been encouraging.

“We were able to get both cars in the points, and okay, we were helped by a few people crashing out, but that is part of the game too.

“We beat some of the cars that we’re in the constructors’ battle with, we started behind one [Sauber] and one Williams – and finished ahead of those.

The 31-year-old outqualified Hülkenberg and was going to be comfortably ahead of his teammate before a VSC to clear Hamilton’s broken Mercedes brought the German back into the game.

Magnussen moved aside in the second stint for his teammate who was on mediums to go and chase Albon. They both ultimately beat the Williams driver. Russell’s crash on the last lap handed the Dane a point.

“Obviously it didn’t help me with the Virtual Safety Car, the first one, but on the flip side it helped Nico so we could get him back in the battle. A fantastic day for us to get three points here, [especially] after qualifying, [where things were] decent but not great. Just super happy with today.

Magnussen complimented the car’s performance thus far, saying that it now works beyond a single lap in qualifying with new tyres.

“The car has a bigger window, it has not necessarily got more downforce, it’s just more usable downforce and it is now good in more than just one condition.

“New tyres, low fuel last year was okay, but we really struggled in the race, so the team has focused in that direction over the winter, so it is really cool to see it pay off and we just need to continue like that and go further in that direction.

Haas had struggled over a single lap on Saturday as Magnussen was only P14, with Hülkenberg knocked out in Q1. Both cars would have been out in the first segment if Daniel Ricciardo had kept his car within track limits at turn 4.

However, the race pace proved extremely encouraging, overhauling Albon in the Williams.

“It’s very encouraging. It’s a whole different way to go racing. It was tough last year, knowing every race on Sunday morning you wake up and you know it’s not going to be good.

“Today I woke up and I knew I’d have a chance to fight and it was true. Once again we were stronger in race pace than quali pace, and we need to just keep working in this direction.”

At the moment, Haas is in seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship on 4 points, ahead of the three teams that have not yet scored: Alpine, Williams and Sauber.