Event: Qatar Grand Prix – Sunday October 8
Location: Lusail International Circuit, Doha
Layout: 5.419-kilometer (3.367-mile), 16-turn circuit
Air Temps: 31.5 degrees Celsius (88.7 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit)
Race Winner: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing
Nico Hulkenberg – Started 14th / Finished 16th (Running – completed 56/57 laps)
Kevin Magnussen – Started 18th / Finished 14th (Running – completed 56/57 laps)
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team finished with Kevin Magnussen 14th and Nico Hulkenberg 16th at the Qatar Grand Prix, Round 18 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held Sunday at the Lusail International Circuit.
A pre-race directive from the FIA and Pirelli mandated a maximum stint limit on one set of tires owing to safety concerns at the high-energy Lusail track, which effectively meant drivers would have to undertake a minimum of three pit stops.
Magnussen took the start from 18th on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires and moved up to 14th spot, before pitting on lap 3 behind the Safety Car for Yellow medium tires. That put the Dane on an aggressive out-of-sync pit strategy, allowing him to contend for the top 10 places, before cycling through pit lane again on lap 21 for Hard white tires. Magnussen made his third stop on lap 41, taking on more hard tires, going on to classify 14th overall.
Hulkenberg started from 14th on medium tires and worked his way into the top 10 on the opening lap, running as high as fifth. The German came in for his first stop on lap 13, switching to hard tires. Unfortunately for Hulkenberg he had to serve a 10-second time penalty at that pit stop after being judged to have incorrectly lined up on the starting grid. That dropped Hulkenberg towards the rear of the pack and he came in on lap 28, for mediums, before fitting another set of hards on lap 41 that he raced through to the checkered flag.
World Champion Max Verstappen claimed his 14th victory of the season for Red Bull Racing, ahead of McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team sits ninth in the Constructors’ Championship on 12 points heading to home soil next and the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas.
“It was unbelievably hard and very hot. It seemed a lot hotter than any other race I’ve ever done. I think we had a positive day although not from a points or Constructors’ Championship standings perspective, we lost a position there which is very disappointing, but there are five races left. It’s a tight fight with those guys but we’ve got to hang on and try our best to get them back. We get an upgrade next race and we’re all very happy about that, and excited to work with that upgrade. We’re not expecting a miracle for the first race maybe, and it might take a race or two to really get the most out of it, but there’s still some positive stuff to look forward to.”
“I realized before I stopped but you can’t reverse and the damage was done, so that was obviously a big mistake from me today. That stopped our race before it even started. The conditions were very extreme, the heat, humidity, the pace was incredibly high with the new asphalt so I think we’re all feeling it.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“The end of this spec car ended worse than it started, so we’re thankful to see the end of it, but today was also not a good day. Nico starting in the wrong grid spot at the beginning didn’t help at all because once you get 10 seconds behind at the start of the race where we are, you have no chance. We fought but it wasn’t enough. We’ll come back in Austin with the upgrade and hopefully it works and at least we know we’re doing things to move forward – we’re not sitting here waiting for the end of the season. We will work hard until the end of the season.”
Round 19 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship is the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of The Americas, Austin. Qualifying – Friday October 20. Sprint – Saturday October 21. Race – October 22.
Haas F1 Team PR