Kevin Magnussen claims he’s not “fought so hard for a point” after taking the chequered flag in 10th place finish in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
After qualifying sixth on Saturday, Magnussen was finally able to convert Haas’ promising one-lap pace into a points-scoring position at the Marina Bay Circuit.
Consistent difficulties with managing tyre degradation have seen the American outfit regularly languish outside of the points this year, despite a series of top-10 starting appearances.
However, after qualifying in sixth, with team-mate Nico Hulkenberg 10th on the grid, Magnussen was adamant post-qualifying that the team had “to be thinking about points.”
Despite a mistake that cost him ground late on, Magnussen was eventually able to fight back to finish in 10th, his first point since Miami in May.
“It was a hard fight, I don’t think I’ve ever fought so hard for a point,” he said post-race.
“But I really really wanted it and you know after qualifying it would have been so disappointing not to get anything out of it.
“It looked tough at one point once I had that off in T1/T2 I thought it was game over my tyres were just done.
“So we pitted, for Softs and it worked really well and the pace was good, we made up a few positions and a few people crashed and I got a point and I’m glad I worked so hard for it.”
The Dane went wide when defending against Pierre Gasly at Turn 7, dropping him several positions and seemingly out of contention for claiming the points he so desperately craved.
But when a Virtual Safety Car was deployed to remove the stranded Alpine of Esteban Ocon on Lap 44, Magnussen dived into the pits for a brand-new set of Soft tyres.
The decision proved fruitful as Magnussen was able to recover to 11th, inheriting 10th courtesy of George Russell’s last-lap crash. The Haas driver was proud of his team’s tyre gamble.
“We got an opportunity and we took it,” Magnussen added. “We were ready to capitalise.
“I always say we go into these races we know that the race pace isn’t going to be that good and tyre deg isn’t going to be on our side so we’ve just got to be ready to take any opportunity there is and we did that today and it paid off.”
Hulkenberg couldn’t convert a one-stop into points in Singapore
On the other side of the Haas garage, Hulkenberg was left feeling like he and the team had missed an opportunity.
The German was second in a Haas double stack in the first run of pit-stops, losing positions, but he found himself ahead of Magnussen prior to the Virtual Safety Car period later on.
But instead of pitting, Hulkenberg committed to the one-stop and fell from the top 10 to finish 13th on ageing tyres.
“Lots invested, lots of work but no payout unfortunately at the end,” Hulkenberg rued.
“Starting off the first Safety Car obviously, I was the trailing car so, double stop and you know, lost a lot of positions and ground there and then which was not ideal.
“But yeah, it’s unfortunate, not much we can do about that and then I think, yeah, managed to do a one-stop but at the end, you know, it was just falling, falling fruit.
“I think we probably missed an opportunity in that final VSC, I feel there could have been points there as I was way ahead of Kevin and he managed 10th.
“So yeah, we need to review that.
“Bit of a shame, so yeah, disappointed but drove a good race so nothing you know personally to be unhappy about today.”
Magnussen’s solitary point for the team takes Haas’ tally to 12 points in the Constructors’ Championships, nine points behind Williams in seventh place.
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