Burnt Kevin Magnussen claims 'hardest point' in Singapore
McLaren`s Kevin Magnussen labelled his 10th place finish at the stifling Singapore Grand Prix on Sunday as the hardest point he had earned in Formula One after he suffered burns from his overheated car.
The demanding two-hour race under the floodlights along the 23-turn Marina Bay street circuit is always one of the toughest on the calendar with evening temperatures around 30 Celsius and humidity high in the Southeast Asian city state.
But as his car struggled to cope, the Danish rookie was seen flailing his arms outside of his cockpit, desperately trying to get cool air down his sleeves and into his overheating suit.
"It was a very, very tough grand prix," said the 21-year-old, who is 12th in the drivers standings.
"During the race, I don’t know if there was something wrong with the car, but my seat started getting very hot, which made things extremely uncomfortable for me.
"Without that, I think we could have done better than 10th, but at least we got that one point. It’s better than nothing.
"It was the hardest point I’ve ever earned."
Magnussen had qualified ninth for Sunday`s race for a McLaren team that has struggled in 2014 following their double podium at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix where the Dane finished second.
McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier said the solitary point from the tough weekend was difficult to accept but commended his young driver for completing the 60 punishing laps in such extreme conditions.
"He was subjected to severe bodily discomfort," the Frenchman said.
"His car’s cockpit began to overheat, necessitating his holding his arms aloft, first one then the other, in an effort to direct cooling air down his sleeves and inside his race-suit, which was an unusually painful complication for him.
"In the end, after an impressively plucky drive in extremely challenging conditions, he was able to score a single point for the team.
"It was scant consolation, of course it was, but it’s indicative of his tremendous fighting spirit, and I commend him for it."