Horror Ended Well: Magnussen Scores Ninth Place

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JEDDAH (Ekstra Bladet): The neck hurt, but kept the whole very exciting journey towards points for the second race in a row for Kevin Magnussen and the Haas team. A little too long, it seemed that the 29-year-old Dane would once again have to drive the wheels of his VF-22s, but end up being severely unlucky. But something is different with Haas in 2022, because luck can be with them too. Kevin Magnussen finished ninth to two points in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix after a breathtaking finish. Well felt in front of Lewis Hamilton! Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc gave samples of how good race cars the new generation is. They had a fantastic run through. The Dutchman pulled the longest straw and won his first race this year. Nicholas Latifi is driving his third and most likely last season in Formula 1. The Canadian came to Williams with a big check from dad, which guaranteed three years. Saudi Arabia’s Grand Prix was yet another underlining that Williams – now with fresh capital – can do something better. Twice Latifi ran out of talent. Saturday during the qualification and 14 laps inside the grand prix. Without anyone was near him. It was first and foremost expensive for Sergio Pérez, who had otherwise done everything right since qualifying. The Mexican scored the first pole position of his career, defending it and pitting from the lead. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan But thanks to Latifi’s crash at the wrong time and the subsequent safetycar, the rivals got a free pit stop, which sent the Mexican down to fourth place. The same episode spoiled Kevin Magnussen’s plans. Haas started the Dane on the hard deck, as did Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hülkenberg, who again acted as Aston Martin instead of the corona-stricken compatriot Sebastian Vettel. The Dane had made one of his classic starts and was advanced a single placement when he completely forgot that Pierre Gasly in front of him had a tire advantage. He was up like six when everyone on the medium deck hurried into the pit. Magnussen, Hamilton and Hülkenberg had no choice but to stay out, but they had to use another incident to have a chance. The restart provided an entertaining situation, which underscores that Mercedes is a long way from previous seasons’ dominance. Magnussen was just up and considering an overtaking on George Russell; it did not succeed, but after that followed a bold fight with Lewis Hamilton. Photo: Tariq Mikkel Khan They fought a real battle for position with several overtaking back and forth before Hamilton managed to hit a hole. Already in race two in the new era of Formula 1 you can see how much easier it is for cars to follow each other. The Grand Prix featured plenty of wheels-to-wheels. From seventh place, Haas and Magnussen were just hoping for a safetycar. It almost came. Suddenly Fernando Alonso’s Alpine quit, shortly after Daniel Ricciardo’s McLaren wanted no more and then Valtteri Bottas pitched with a problem for Alfa Romeo. It provided the virtual safetycar that Magnussen needed! And at the same time the luck that Mercedes did not utilize it as well as Haas. As the Dane crossed the finish line, he came under suspicion of not having slowed down sufficiently under the yellow flag; the same is Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz. If Magnussen gets a penalty, he will drop to 10th place.

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