MEX­I­CAN GP

Autosport (UK) - - PIT + PADDOCK/LETTERS -

HAAS CAN BE UP AN DD OWN A TT HE BEST OF TIMES, SUCH i st he team’s in­ex­pe­ri­ence and the sen­si­tiv en ature o ft he tricky Pirelli tyres. It was nowhere in Mex­ico City, where both Mag­nussen and team-mate Ro­main Gros­jean qual­i­fied on the back­row ,b ehi nde ven the peren­ni­ally un­com­pet­i­tive Saubers.

But a host of grid penal­ties and var­i­ous in­ci­dents and re­tire­ments early in the race pro­pelled Mag­nussen up to sev­enth .O nce Se­bas­tian Vet­tel ’sf er­rari came back past, Mag­nussen’s mis­sion ove rt he seco ndh alf o ft he race wa st o hang on for an un­likely poin tsf in­ish.

He fended o fft he Mclaren-honda o ff er­nando Alonso and the Mercedes of­world cham­pion Lewi sh amil­ton to fin­ish an ex­cel­lent eighth in a very dif­fi­cult car. The team­reck­oned it wa st he “per­fect” drive from Mag­nussen.

“How he was able to do tha ti don’t know,” sa yst eam boss Gun­ther Steiner. “The week­end didn’t start good –we seemed tobe strug­gli nge very­where – and all of a sud­den he pull st his out o ft he bag.

“Per­fec tst art – it’s quite amazi ngh ow goo dhe is on the starts – and he was con­fi­dent. Ev­ery time w eh ad an engine is­sue and needed some man­age­ment– it’s dis­tract­ing ,bu t he stayed calm. H eg ot in a place where some­times in lif en oth­ing ca ng o wrong.”

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