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.”