Magnussen makes his mark in China to earn first points

Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen on his way to an eighth place finish in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix
Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen on his way to an eighth place finish in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix

Haas F1 Team secured its first points of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship with Kevin Magnussen delivering an eighth-place finish in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix.

It was nearly a double points finish at the Shanghai International Circuit as Banbury team-mate Romain Grosjean finished 11th, one spot out of the points.

It’s so much more fun when you’re fighting in the points, I’m happy for the team and we’re looking forward to the coming races

Kevin Magnussen

For Magnussen, it was his first top ten finish since last year’s Singapore Grand Prix and his best result since coming seventh at the 2016 Russian Grand Prix.

Three-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton won Sunday’s race. It was the Mercedes AMG Petronas driver’s 54th career Formula One win, his first of the season and his fifth at the Shanghai International Circuit. Hamilton’s margin of victory was 6.250 seconds over Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Two rounds into the 20-race Formula One schedule, Haas is seventh in the constructor standings with four points, four behind sixth-place Williams and four ahead of eighth-place Renault, Sauber and McLaren.

A delighted Magnussen said: “It was a good race, I had fun out there. I had a good car all the way through the race.

“I’d made a really poor start, so to come back from that and push, I was really happy. I was able to look after the front tyres, which I think was key, along with working with the team to get the car in the right window.

“The race was really well managed from the team, it was good strategy to get me out on the supersoft after the intermediates. You had to fight for it, in terms of passing, it’s not easy but you also have grip, so you can take different lines and get close in alternative ways.

“It’s so much more fun when you’re fighting in the points. I’m happy for the team and we’re looking forward to the coming races.”

Grosjean added: “Esteban Ocon pushed me on the first lap, I lost half of the right-hand side of the car. From there I just pushed as hard as I could.

“I couldn’t really find an opening on [Jolyon] Palmer. Once I did, though, I had some good lap times.

“We were doing a decent job but it was already too late, it was not easy on strategy. The guys did the best job they could, we saw the checkered flag and the lap times were looking decent.”

Team boss Guenther Steiner said: “It’s great to see Kevin’s team scoring their first points. For Kevin to score points on his second race is fantastic.

“Again, I think we showed what we can do and that we are what we think we are, we just have to do it consistently. We can then look to a good season in front of us.”