Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said “you cannot write a story like this” after Kevin Magnussen capped his return to the sport with a remarkable P5 finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The American team have been at the back of the grid for two years as difficulties off-track kept them from repeating the fifth-placed Constructors’ Championship finish they achieved in 2018.
Those difficulties looked set to continue this season as the team lost their main sponsor due to events in eastern Europe but instead, Haas are celebrating their highest finish in a race since Austria 2016.
Steiner was told by Sky Sports F1’s Ted Kravitz they had missed his smile and the Italian-American replied: “I’ve missed it as well.
“What the whole team did, if you think about the last two years then coming back like this, you cannot write a story like this in my opinion,” he said.
“The guys on the racetrack the last two years, I mean they had tough times but they kept their head low, learned, and the pit-stops were good. Everything was just fine.
“They took the last year to get ready for a better car and the guys delivered a good car this year, so it’s all down to the team. They keep me all very proud. I’m proud of them.
You deserve this, team 👊🎉🤩#HaasF1 #BahrainGP pic.twitter.com/W1jH8J8K3H
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) March 20, 2022
“It’s just fantastic. I can’t say more, but it’s all down to the team.”
It was a particularly remarkable drive for Magnussen considering he had been out of the sport since the end of the 2020 season.
“Kevin did a fantastic job,” said Steiner. “For him, a comeback like this he wouldn’t have dreamt of I think.
“But things happen in life. A month ago it was a completely different scenario, now all of a sudden we are fifth.
“He knows how to drive a car. There is a reason why we got him back – we want a little bit of credit for that as well.
“When we knew we needed another driver I think it was the right choice to make. He came back, he’s full of energy and you must think he didn’t drive an F1 car for 14 months, so it’s even more spectacular.
“Can you imagine if he would have just got out of one [at the] end of last year? We would be on the podium!”
Magnussen’s team-mate Mick Schumacher also achieved a personal milestone as he registered his highest finish in an F1 race, narrowly missing out on the points in 11th.
“Mick got close. Mick in the beginning started a little bit poor but then again, he just needs to get used to the air up there,” said Steiner.
“He will get used to it and for him it’s a good position to be in. He can now analyse this race, see what he could have done different to end up in the points.
“But he got close to it and it’s his best result as well, so just from here on I think now he’s hungry for points as well.”
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