Haas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner was content to pick up more points in Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix.
Haas inched four points closer to fourth-placed Renault in the FIA F1 Constructors’ Championship after Kevin Magnussen delivered a solid eighth place finish at Sochi Autodrom.
With nobody going out ahead of us at the front, that’s the best we can finish, or almost the bestHaas F1 Team boss Guenther Steiner
Team-mate Romain Grosjean finished just outside the points in 11th but the Banbury squad remains fifth and cut the gap to Renault, who finished outside the points, to 11 points after Magnussen secured his ninth points-paying drive in this year’s championship. Haas F1 Team also extended its advantage over sixth-placed McLaren to 22 points.
Magnussen began the 53-lap race around the 18-turn circuit from fifth in the 20-car field.
Grosjean swapped the hypersofts he used in qualifying at the end of lap eight for a new set of yellow softs that carried him to the finish. Magnussen was on the same pit strategy and made his scheduled stop on lap nine.
As pit stops cycled through, Magnussen and Grosjean climbed back to their eventual finishing positions of eighth and 11th respectively.
Steiner said: “Again, we score points, we keep on adding to our account. Both drivers did a very good job, we almost finished in the same positions where we started, counting out the two Red Bulls, who we knew would be coming through the field.
“With nobody going out ahead of us at the front, that’s the best we can finish, or almost the best. We’re always thereabouts to score points, and we did.”
Magnussen is seventh in the FIA F1 Driver’s Championship with 53 points and Grosjean is 14th with 27 points.
Magnussen said: “It was a tough race. We didn’t quite have enough pace, we were lacking a bit, so I found myself defending from the Force Indias, basically from lap one.
“I think we got all that we could, keeping the Force Indias behind was the maximum we could do. The pace we had in qualifying was better than the pace we had in the race.
“I’m looking forward to Suzuka now, I think we’ll be strong there, and it’s also just a phenomenal track to drive. I think we’re all looking forward to that.”
Grosjean added: “I was very disappointed with that, I thought I drove a good race. I’d been struggling a bit for pace all weekend, but I felt in the race things got better.
“I was happy to keep Marcus [Ericsson] behind and then fight with the Renaults and overtake them, then I realised I was only 11th.”