Haas Victory with Clever Pitstop Strategy and Defensive Skill

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Hulkenberg point in F1 Saudi Arabian GP like “gold dust” for Haas

Hulkenberg’s late pitstop success owed much to Kevin Magnussen’s strategic defense, as he skillfully held off competitors, creating an opportune pit window for his teammate.

However, Magnussen’s maneuvers weren’t without controversy. Already facing a 10-second penalty for a clash with Alex Albon, his overtaking of Yuki Tsunoda off the track incurred another 10-second penalty. Nevertheless, for Haas, the prevailing sentiment was one of triumph.

The team, entering the season with tempered expectations following a calamitous 2023, which saw the departure of long-serving team principal Guenther Steiner, found reason to celebrate.

In a grid divided into two tiers, Haas had risen from the lower echelons of the second group, overcoming significant race pace issues. Despite the dominance of the top 10 teams in securing points positions, Haas’s prospects for finishing in the points were rare until Lance Stroll’s early exit in Jeddah opened up the opportunity.

Haas Victory with Clever Pitstop Strategy and Defensive Skill
Haas Victory with Clever Pitstop Strategy and Defensive Skill (Credits: Ready)

“It’s incredibly important, it’s like gold dust,” remarked Steiner’s successor, Komatsu. “We’ve got the top five teams, and then we are effectively competing for P10, one point, with so many other people, so everything has to be perfect.”

“I’m so happy for the team, everyone’s done their bit,” Komatsu added. “Operationally, as a race team, it was close to perfection.”

Reflecting on their unexpected success, Komatsu acknowledged the team’s underdog status: “It is a surprise because we are the smallest team, so we’ve got to assume all the gains we are finding over the winter, everybody else has to be finding it at a minimum.”

“At that point in pre-season, we hadn’t addressed any of our race and tyre management issues,” Komatsu continued. “Of course, the car is better than last year, but then you can see the lap time delta changes depending on Bahrain, depending on circuit like this with much higher speeds.”

Haas had faced setbacks in qualifying, with Hulkenberg’s fuel calculation error halting him in Q2 and Magnussen missing his final attempt due to timing issues, placing them 15th and 13th on the grid respectively.

“We understood exactly what happened [in qualifying],” explained Komatsu. “The good thing is that our team has transparency and honesty. Mistakes happen, we accept it.”

“The action plan is in place, we don’t hide anything, we don’t bullshit anyone,” Komatsu affirmed. “I’m confident that we’re never going to make the same mistakes again.”


By Aaron

From Vintage Classics to Modern Marvels, Aaron is deeply immersed in the Automobile culture. He is from Kerala and a Man of Few words. He is Someone who loves to spend his free time reading automobile articles and watching TV Shows.

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