Finishing eighth in Sunday's Mexican Grand Prix "felt like a victory" to Kevin Magnussen and the Haas Formula 1 team after struggling for pace throughout practice and qualifying before capitalising on an incident-strewn race to rise up the order.

Magnussen qualified 18th on Saturday as Haas failed to beat backmarker outfit Sauber, but charged into the points after perfecting his strategy by pitting under the mid-race Virtual Safety Car and benefitting from a lack of reliability for four of the Renault cars.

The Dane held off Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in the final two laps to secure eighth place at the chequered flag, drawing Haas to within a point of Renault in the race for P7 in the constructors' championship.

"That was like a victory. It was incredible, and a great way to reward everyone for their hard work," Magnussen said.

"It was a perfect race. It couldn’t have gone better. We could easily have given up and just thrown the towel into the ring yesterday – it was a very tough day for us all. Nobody gave up, and everyone knows we’re not the worst team, or meant to be on the last row.

"We’re meant to be in the points, fighting in the midfield and getting into the top-10. We pushed on and I’m very proud of the team for that.

"We’re going to continue to fight. It’s not going to be easy, we can see that, but we’ll continue to push in the constructors championship and have fun all the way to the end."