MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg finished 13th and 17th, respectively, at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Round 4 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, held Sunday at the Baku City Circuit.
We were stuck in traffic the whole race. We had the pace for much more but couldn’t pass. Unfortunately, with the wing we have, it’s fast with no DRS, but with DRS, it doesn’t have a significant impact. Overtaking is very difficult. Defending is pretty good because, without DRS, we’re pretty fast. That little detail made the difference today because I think looking at the cars ahead, I was way quicker than them but couldn’t get past. A bit of the same story as last year, as we were in the points until the end but this year, we had even more pace. Hopefully, that carries onto Miami, and we will try again.
It was hard work – I was head-down, focused. It was a quali race, to be honest. That was all I had, but it was okay for 40 laps or so and then at the end. Unfortunately, the tires started to drop quite rapidly. The Safety Car didn’t come out, which we needed with the strategy we pursued. Nevertheless, it was good learning. We elected for a pit lane start and changed the set-up entirely to something more conventional. We learned something positive, and now onto Miami, where I think we’ll be more competitive.
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
Kevin got his front wing endplate knocked off at the start because Bottas in front of him locked up, so he couldn’t avoid him, and it was severe enough to make a front wing change. We tried a different strategy with Nico, but it didn’t work because the Safety Car came too early. Overall, the car’s performance was good, and we could keep pace with the Alpine and McLaren. We have to take this one as a little dip and come back to Miami, where maybe it’s even better for our car, being a medium-downforce circuit.