Verstappen victorious again, Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team misses out on points in Dutch GP
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Kannapolis-based MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished 12th and 14th respectively at the Dutch Grand Prix, Round 14 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.
“Quite an exciting race in general with all the weather changes and I think we got right what we could, we steered clear of unforced errors in some tricky conditions. Our dry pace is not good enough at the moment however, but I think we got out as much as we could from the race – that is where we are right now,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner.
Both drivers took the start on Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires, Hulkenberg from 14th and Magnussen from the pit-lane after undertaking pre-race power unit and gearbox changes that resulted in a grid penalty. Rain began falling halfway around the opening lap and the team split strategies, with Magnussen pitting for Cinturato Green intermediates, and Hulkenberg staying out on his slick tires. Magnussen worked his way up to seventh place, before coming in on lap nine for soft tires once the track dried, while Hulkenberg stayed out through the evolving weather.
The safety car was deployed on lap 15, when Logan Sargeant crashed out, with Magnussen taking the restart from seventh and Hulkenberg 16th after pitting for Yellow medium tires. Magnussen put on a rearguard action but was unable to prevent quicker rivals from passing before coming in on lap 36 for mediums, while Hulkenberg stopped for softs on lap 48. Forecast rain drenched Zandvoort on lap 61 and both drivers pitted to take on another set of intermediates before the race was red-flagged due to the worsening conditions.
“I think we did a good job at the beginning of the race with the conditions and managing that well,” Magnussen said. “We got up to P7 I think and then it dried up, and there was a Safety Car which didn’t help us because we lost all that advantage that we had given ourselves with the right calls. We fell from P7 to outside of the points and it’s a shame. It feels extra frustrating when you manage to hustle your way into the top 10 and then you don’t have the pace to be there. We’ll keep working and today we showed we’re trying our best and going for it when there’s an opportunity, but we need more pace.”
After a 43-minute delay the race restarted, with both drivers on intermediates, and they made gains through the final five laps of action, enabling Hulkenberg to take 12th, and Magnussen 14th at the checkered flag.
“It was a very dynamic race and the last five laps were just survival mode,” Hulkenberg said. “I think there were only two of us – Valtteri (Bottas) and myself – who decided to stay out on slicks when the rain began, which wasn’t the right decision in hindsight. I lost quite a bit of race time in those couple of laps, so we missed an opportunity there. After that, you run your race, but it was difficult to gage were you were, so I did my own race. Pace, from what I could see, was alright in the midfield, but obviously not enough to do anything at the front. We collected a lot of data with the new front wing which we now need to study and understand more and hopefully we can optimize it.”
Up front Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen recorded his ninth successive victory, and 11th of the 2023 season, with Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso second, and Alpine’s Pierre Gasly third.
Copyright 2023 WBTV. All rights reserved.