Sitting in a rocket
The neck held, and Kevin Magnussen was super happy with both his result and his car after the second race in a row with points

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.

Former McLaren driver and current TV expert Mika Häkkinen was among the first to congratulate him on a good race. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan

– 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.

It was a ninth place for Kevin Magnussen on a track where he has never ridden before and received minimal preparation. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan
It was a ninth place for Kevin Magnussen on a track where he has never ridden before and received minimal preparation. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan

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.

By Editor

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