Magnussen entitled to be ‘pissed off’ after ‘perfect’ Haas drive

Kevin Magnussen’s Australian Grand Prix performance was rated as “perfect” by Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu who conceded the Dane was entitled to be “pissed off” following the race at Melbourne’s Albert Park.

Magnussen started 14th but recovered superbly to finish in P10, although he would have been higher had Haas’ strategy not worked against him.

The 31-year-old was undercut by two drivers during the opening round of pitstops, which cost Magnussen the chance to finish a potential eighth. He was even asked to swap positions with Nico Hulkenberg during the race, something he did without hesitation.

Magnussen’s positive performance comes on the back of an imperious defensive display in Jeddah, which was required after receiving 20 seconds’ worth of penalties.

“In Jeddah, his drive was a bit scruffy in the first half of the race, accumulating to penalties,” Komatsu told select media including RacingNews365.

“But after that point, his defensive driving, again, taking advantage of the Saudi layout sector one is brilliant. And then in Jeddah, let’s say 70 percent of the race he did amazing, 30 percent he didn’t do a very good job.

“But then (in Australia), apart from that one lock-up in Turn 13 towards the end, which luckily didn’t cost him anything. He’s done everything perfect. Great, great, great drive.”

Not Magnussen’s fault

Haas’ pitstops were not the cause of Magnussen’s downfall, instead, it was due to the American outfit leaving the driver out on the circuit for too long.

Appreciating Magnussen’s potential irritation at the situation, Komatsu said: “On the first round of pit stops for Kevin, we lost two positions. That shouldn’t have happened. But other than that, everything else was amazing.

“Pitstops were amazing, and then the drivers working together again during the second stint – Kev was on the hard tyre, Nico was on the medium tyre, because of the VSC.

“Again, Nico had a better pace. But Kevin’s strategy was already compromised, not because of his fault – the team’s fault.

“So Kevin had every reason to be pissed off, but then no: when we asked to swap, he’s done it straight away. So he knows how important these opportunities are. So, just right.”


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