Haas boss Guenther Steiner has revealed the new nickname he has given Kevin Magnussen following another strong drive from the Dane. Despite only finding out that he would be returning to Formula 1 less than two weeks before the start of the 2022 campaign, Magnussen put in an impressive performance in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix to claim P5, marking the team's first points finish since 2020. He followed this up with more points in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after coming home in ninth. However, it also proved to be a challenging weekend physically for Magnussen, who stated that his neck felt like it "broke" during Saturday's qualifying. With Steiner having initially hailed Magnussen's performance in Bahrain as a "Viking comeback", the Team Principal admits he has slightly changed the phrase to suit his driver's condition in Jeddah...
Steiner admits Magnussen was "sore" after Saudi
When asked how Magnussen was feeling after the 50-lap race, Steiner told the F1 Nation podcast: "He was quite sore. "He wanted to play it how we are [like] a Viking. I called him the Viking with the weak neck! "But anyway, he was sore and it's one of these things, especially on this race track with the high speed corners. If you haven't driven one of these cars for a year, I think it is very demanding."
Haas "got lucky" with points after strategy issues
It was not an entirely straightforward weekend in Saudi Arabia for Haas, with Mick Schumacher suffering a high-speed crash in qualifying. The team opted not to run his car in Sunday's race. Meanwhile, a Safety Car period in the Grand Prix caused problems with Magnussen's strategy, and Steiner admits that they benefited from cars ahead of them retiring. "I think we were pretty sure from last weekend in Bahrain that the car is good, then we proved it here again," Steiner explained. "Obviously the result was not as good as in Bahrain, but the most important thing was Mick was safe after the accident, and to [get] points again for the team is fantastic. "Starting 10th with a different strategy, getting unlucky because we had a Safety Car out at the most inconvenient time for our strategy, but we got lucky a little bit afterwards with a few guys retiring." Haas currently sit fifth in the Constructors' Championship with 12 points.