Magnussen earns more points for Haas in Azerbaijan

Kevin Magnussen on his way to seventh place in Azerbaijan
Kevin Magnussen on his way to seventh place in Azerbaijan

A bounty of aggressiveness prematurely ended the day for many in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sunday at Baku City Circuit but cooler heads prevailed for Haas F1 Team.

Kevin Magnussen delivered a strong seventh place finish after starting 12th to notch the Bnabury team’s sixth point-paying effort of the season and its fourth straight. Team-mate Romain Grosjean finished 13th after starting 16th.

From the onset of the 51-lap race around the Baku City Circuit, drivers were bouncing off one another and the walls. A red flag after 22 laps to clean the entire track of the numerous bits of broken carbon fibre was a gift to Magnussen and Grosjean.

The two Haas drivers had worked their way up to seventh and tenth respectively and the red flag effectively gave them a free pit stop. When the race went back to green, Magnussen took full advantage, simultaneously passing the Williams of Felipe Massa and the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg in turn one to take fifth.

Front-runners Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel had to pit. Hamilton needed his headrest reattached to his Mercedes and Vettel had to serve a ten second penalty for turning his Ferrari into Hamilton during a previous Safety Car period. That bumped Magnussen up to third.

Magnussen held on to third until lap 38 when he was caught by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas and the Force India of Esteban Ocon, dropping him to fifth. A lap later, Vettel and Hamilton came upon Magnussen, jettisoning him to seventh.

But with a healthy gap over the eighth place Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr., Magnussen maintained his position through the finish.

Grosjean was forced to pit on lap 37 to investigate a left-front disc issue. He was able to return to the race but the lost track position was too much to overcome.

Winning the eighth round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship was Daniel Ricciardo. The Red Bull driver won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix after starting tenth.

The championship battle between Vettel and Hamilton remains tight, with Vettel picking up two points on Hamilton to earn a 14-point advantage. Magnussen and Grosjean are 13th and 14th, respectively, in the driver standings. Magnussen has 11 points and Grosjean has ten.