JEDDAH (Ekstra Bladet): Kevin Magnussen has scored some tough points throughout his Formula 1 career when temperatures in the cockpit, drinking systems or technique have not worked as intended.
A ninth place finish in the breathtaking Grand Prix at the Corniche Jeddah Circuit belonged in that category. The calendar’s second fastest course offered fierce challenges for the 29-year-old Dane’s untrained neck, but he clenched his teeth and scored points for the second race in a row.
Magnussen and others were suspected of eventually ignoring yellow flags in the race, but were all acquitted.
It required a short break before the Danish Haas driver came out to the press.
– I’m having a hard time, Kevin Magnussen told Ekstra Bladet – with a very big smile – and used a small table in front of him to support himself.
– The neck is very sore, but the race is a little easier, and the lap times a little slower and the speeds in the turns are not the same because you have fuel on board.
– But no, I am happy and relieved to have come through and that we had such a good race.
– The car was a rocket, and I was super happy with balance and how we could just push the tires all the way through. It was just so good to drive.
– As the race evolved with safetycars and so on, we could not get more out of it, said Magnussen, who started the Saudi Arabia Grand Prix as a tier.
– We finished JUST before Gasly and were much faster than him!
Between TV interviews, laughter and a pat on the back were also exchanged with the Alpha Tauri driver. Had the race lasted a round or two more, it would have gone differently, for the Frenchman was vulnerable.
Like Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen was on a reverse strategy of pretty much everyone else.
A safetycar after Nicholas Latifi’s crash came at the worst possible time for them, and yet they both managed to return to the points.
– That says a lot. The car is just good and fast, Magnussen states.
– I was very surprised to be able to keep up with them in front when I started on the harder deck. The team did well with the car once again.