Forced to start from the pit lane after missing a call to be weighed during free practice, the Dane still managed to recover up to 11th. Although this meant Renault finished just outside the points for the second race in succession, Magnussen would rather focus on the positives.
“Starting from the pit lane meant that it was always going to be a strategic race but I still had some fun fights out on track and we extracted all we had in the car,” the 23-year-old said. “We were so close to scoring points; it’s frustrating to think what could have been had we not incurred a penalty.
“In any case, the team did a good job this weekend, we’re working very well altogether and the car’s performance was encouraging. There are signs of good things to come for the team, including fantastic support from Renault; we have reason to smile. As long as we work really hard now, we will reap the benefits later.”
After enjoying a positive F1 debut in Australia, team-mate Jolyon Palmer had a more difficult time in Sakhir. Having qualified a lowly 20th, the British rookie had to retire at the end of the formation lap with a suspected hydraulics failure.
“Having got one Grand Prix under my belt, I was looking forward to racing so I’m disappointed at not making it past the formation lap!” Palmer said. “I think we could have had a chance to move up the grid, especially after our strong performance in Melbourne.
“Everything was okay with the car until the last corner of the lap, but then I had to go straight into the pits. It looks like it was related to hydraulics and we’ll be looking into it with the team to understand what happened. These things can happen in racing, and I certainly want to move to the next race in China as quickly as possible.”