Verstappen victorious in Vegas, Kannapolis-based Haas Team points quest comes up short

Final race of 2023 season next weekend
STREETS OF LAS VEGAS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - NOVEMBER 18: Nico Hulkenberg, Haas VF-23 during the Las Vegas GP at Streets of Las Vegas on Saturday November 18, 2023, United States of America. (Photo by Jake Grant / LAT Images)(Jake Grant | Jake Grant / LAT Images)
Published: Nov. 19, 2023 at 6:09 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Kannapolis-based MoneyGram Haas F1 Team finished the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Round 22 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, with Kevin Magnussen 13th, while Nico Hulkenberg was forced to retire on Saturday night at the Las Vegas Strip Circuit.

“Both drivers fought hard today to get the best out of the car, and I think they did, and we stayed in front of our normal opponents,” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “We couldn’t get close to the big guys and both cars got stuck behind a Williams – they’re very fast down the straights – so we couldn’t get through. For Nico, unfortunately something happened with the engine and Kevin came home P13. I don’t think we did anything wrong.”

Magnussen started from eighth place on Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and briefly moved up to sixth through the opening stages, before cycling through to the lower stages of the top 10. Magnussen came into the pit lane on lap 14 for White hard tires before stopping once more, for the same tire compound, on lap 26 when the safety car was deployed for debris. Magnussen completed the 50-lap grand prix in 13th position.

“I feel like we had the degradation and pace to score points, but we didn’t so I need to review it and see how we could’ve done better,” Magnussen said “It feels like we had good degradation for once and pace in the race, even at the end of the stints. There was lots of track evolution throughout the race, which was fine and part of the challenge. I’ve enjoyed it.”

Hulkenberg took the start from 13th on the grid, also on medium tires, and gained positions through the opening stint prior to pitting on lap 12 for hard tires. Like Magnussen, Hulkenberg took the opportunity to come into the pits behind the safety car on lap 26, sticking with another set of hard tires, but had to pull to the side of the track a handful of laps from the checkered flag with a power unit issue on the VF-23.

“Something happened and I lost power, so we’ll look into it,” Hulkenberg said. “I thought race pace wasn’t too bad actually, I had a good start but with the accident in Turn 1 I had to go wide around the outside and lost a lot of places, so then was behind already. After that, I felt pretty comfortable in the car, and I felt we had more pace but there was always traffic and for graining protection you couldn’t push as much as you wanted, so that was limiting. All in all, I would say it was one of the better races though.”

Up front World Champion Max Verstappen claimed a record-extending 18th victory of the 2023 season, ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez.

Next up is Round 23 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship – the season finale, is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. Practice – Friday November 24. Qualifying – Saturday November 25. Race – Sunday November 26.