MoneyGram Haas F1 Team returned to the points at Formula 1’s Singapore Grand Prix, Round 16 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held Sunday at the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
Kevin Magnussen started from sixth on Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and remained inside the top-10 during the opening stages of the race. Magnussen pitted on lap 20 for White hard tires, following a Safety Car period triggered by Logan Sargeant’s accident, and re-emerged still inside the points-paying places. However, the Dane went wide with a brake issue at turn 7 while defending from Pierre Gasly and relinquished several positions, before a Virtual Safety Car period – caused when Esteban Ocon stopped on track – offered an opportunity. Magnussen pitted for a second time on lap 44, taking on Red soft tires, climbing to 11th then back into the top-10 after George Russell crashed out of the race in the final stages to earn a welcomed point in tenth place for MoneyGram Haas F1 Team.
Nico Hulkenberg started from ninth place, also on medium tires, and likewise remained in contention for points through the opening stint. Hulkenberg mirrored Magnussen in stopping behind the Safety Car but lost positions to rivals due to the effect of the double stack on pit-lane and re-emerged in 15th. The German clawed his way back into the top-10 through the second stint of the race but was unable to hold on against rivals on fresher tires – Hulkenberg eventually classifying 13th overall.
Up front Scuderia Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz claimed his first victory of the season – having led from pole, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton.
“I thought it was completely game over once I got passed by Pierre [Gasly] and the McLaren. I had a brake problem, and I went wide at Turn 2, went off the track and came back so I thought it was game over then. When the Safety Car came, I pitted and had really good pace on the soft tire and came up, and then got lucky when Russell hit the wall and gave me the point. It’s very satisfying for me personally, it’s the third grand prix this year for me in P10 – I’m earning those points each time. I’ve really had a season where I’ve had to battle and work hard on things. We pulled this one out of the hat, but we don’t expect the same opportunity on the upcoming tracks until we get the upgrade.”
“It was a long race once again here, lots invested, a lot of work but no pay-out unfortunately at the end. At the first Safety Car, I was the trailing car in the double-stop and we lost a lot of positions and ground there, which was not ideal. It was just unfortunate, not much we could’ve done about that. We managed the one-stop but at the end, I was just a falling fruit. I think we might’ve missed an opportunity pitting during the VSC, I feel there could’ve been points there as I was way ahead of Kevin, and he managed P10. A bit disappointed but we drove a good race, nothing personally we can be unhappy about today.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“After qualifying P6 and P9 yesterday, we brought a point home which, at the moment for us, is worth a lot and I think it’s the best we can do with what we’ve got. I think everybody worked hard and the point is well deserved. Obviously, we got a little bit lucky in the end when Russell hit the wall, but the guys were hanging in there to bring the cars back in the best position they could, and it worked out. Off to Japan!”
Round 17 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka Circuit. Practice – Friday September 22. Qualifying – Saturday September 23. Race – Sunday September 24.
Haas F1 Team PR