Monaco milestone race a disappointment for Kannapolis-based Haas F1 Team
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (WBTV) - Kannapolis-based MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen finished 17th and 19th respectively at the Monaco Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held Sunday at the Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo.
“We tried everything possible today to get into the points.” said Team Principal Guenther Steiner. “There’s no point in finishing twelfth, thirteenth or fourteenth so we decided to take a gamble at the end staying out and then pitting for full wets as you never know what can happen, but it didn’t work out. The race was lost yesterday in qualifying, and we knew that if something special doesn’t happen, we cannot get into the points. We tried, everybody was working hard to get it done. We got a penalty – we don’t know what for on lap 1 – again, inconsistency from the FIA there, but it seems to be what now is normal.”
Hulkenberg started from P18 on Pirelli P Zero Yellow Medium tires and came in as planned at the end of the first lap to take on White hard tires. Hulkenberg was issued a five-second time penalty for causing a collision and that was served when he pitted on lap 56, coming in for Cinturato Green intermediate tires, as rain moved in across the Principality.
He then stopped once more, on lap 60, to switch to Blue wet tires as conditions deteriorated. Stewards deemed that the initial penalty was not served correctly and duly issued a further 10-second time penalty, meaning Hulkenberg finished P17.
“The weekend hasn’t been too good but still, the race was fun going through all the different stages with different tires and conditions,” Hulkenberg said. “I’m happy I got through it and came through quite well. I feel the pace was actually pretty decent when I had some clear track but for most of the race, I was stuck in traffic like you are in Monaco. To some extent, I feel the problems we had have been Monaco specific, so I’m quite hopeful in Barcelona we should be in a better position, so I look forward to that.”
Magnussen took the start from P17 on hard tires and gained a spot early on, before expertly passing the Williams of Logan Sargeant into Mirabeau Haute. Magnussen extended his stint on slick tires while the rain fell before eventually coming into the pits on lap 57, having slid wide at Rascasse. That necessitated a front wing change and Magnussen emerged at the rear of the field, before pulling into the pits in the closing stages. Magnussen was still classified in a notional 19th place.
“We tried everything,” Magnussen said. “We tried to do the opposite of everyone, and it didn’t work out. Initially, in the dry, it was looking interesting but then when the rain came, I stayed out hoping for a safety car or a red flag, but that didn’t happen of course. We ended up last, put the full wets on but we couldn’t get them started at all, so the race was over by then. There are a lot of incentives to take risks when you’re outside the top 10 and that’s what we did today, but it didn’t work out. Next week is another race week.”
Up front Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen converted pole position into victory, ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.
MoneyGram Haas F1 Team retains seventh position in the Constructors’ Championship on eight points.
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