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Magnussen: We were just hopeless

NEWS STORY
01/04/2019

Despite the grid penalty handed to Romain Grosjean for an incident he wasn't entirely responsible for, and which no doubt caused his normally placid team boss to utter a few choice expletives, starting sixth and eleventh on Sunday suggested Haas would leave the desert with a decent points haul.

However, first lap contact with Lance Stroll was to lead to Grosjean's retirement just 16 laps into the race, meant successive DNFs for the Frenchman, while teammate Magnussen eventually finished 13th, having experienced problems of his own.

Losing a position on the opening lap to Carlos Sainz, seven laps later he lost a handful more after running wide in turn 10 and falling back to 10th place.

Pitting for the first time on lap 11, he rejoined the race in 14th, subsequently working his way up to 11th as over a number of laps he traded positions in a four-way battle with Sainz, Alexander Albon and Daniel Ricciardo.

However, as he continued to lose ground to the points earners, the team decided to pit him on lap 39 while running 14th. He rejoined in 15th, one lap down on the leaders, and held that position until two laps from the end, when the Renaults of Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg stopped on track, thereby giving the Dane his final finishing position, 13th.

"We were just hopeless from the beginning all the way to the end," said the Dane. "We were very slow on the straights as well so we had no chance to defend.

"It was a pretty hopeless race," he sighed. "We were so good in qualifying so the car has to be good, but today something wasn't right and we need to work hard to try and understand what went wrong as we clearly have a good car when it's working."

Asked what the main issue was, he said: "I had no grip... the car just wasn't working. It wasn't switched on. It was sliding everywhere, locking-up everywhere. It was a totally different car to what we had in qualifying. It was very strange.

"We were slow right from the beginning, not like degradation, we were slow from the first lap," he continued, revealing that straight-line speed was also an issue. "We didn't have any pace or lap time and on top of that we were slowest on the straights. We need to try and understand.

"Other Ferrari engines were flying past me on the straight so it's not that," he insisted. "We knew we had a high downforce package here so it's not such a big surprise but we thought we'd be fast pace wise. We were so slow and with the straight-line speed we had it was just impossible."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Sakhir, here.

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