Formula 1 Racing

Magnussen a team player despite reason to be “pissed off”

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-24

Komatsu admitted that the team had called Magnussen into the pits at the wrong time, losing the Dane two places in the process.

Like in Saudi Arabia, Haas split the strategies of the two drivers, with Nico Hulkenberg running a long opening stint on the hard tyre before pitting for mediums under the VSC.

With fresher tyres, Hulkenberg came up behind Magnussen who, despite his obvious frustration after the earlier pit call, duly moved over and let his team-mate use his pace.

The pair eventually finished ninth and 10th, with both men gaining a spot after George Russell’s late accident.

It was the second race in a row that Magnussen has helped Hulkenberg, having held up a group of cars in Jeddah.

“On the first round of pit stops for Kevin, we lost two positions,” said Komatsu.

“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.

Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“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.”

Asked about keeping the pair together for 2025, Komatsu said: “I haven’t thought about that. I know that driver market is very open. I need to think about that pretty soon.

“But at the moment, until we do the first four or five races, I’m just fully focused on working together as a team.

“Honestly, Kevin today, hats off to him. It’s just unbelievable team play. Really amazing.”

Komatsu explained that the team reacted to Alex Albon stopping, when it should have kept Magnussen out.

“Albon pitted,” he said. “He’s already undercut us. So we shouldn’t have then pitted on the following lap.

“But we did. So we let Albon undercut us – for no reason.

“Then, if you look at [Esteban] Ocon, he went longer on the first stint, and basically overcut us. So we lost the two positions. That just is not right.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Alex Albon, Williams FW46

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

“We cannot be keep making those mistakes when everything in the midfield is so tight.”

Komatsu admitted…

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