Kevin Magnussen: Haas could have achieved even more in qualifying
Haas managed to get both cars into the top 10, but Kevin Magnussen believes an even stronger result went begging.
Haas will line up for Saturday’s spring qualifying race from sixth and seventh with Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher respectively, with the American team’s cars faring well in practice and qualifying.
Having managed a double points finish last time out at Silverstone, it was another strong day for Haas as Magnussen lapped within nine-tenths of the pole lap set by Max Verstappen.
But, despite having secured seventh, that becoming sixth when Perez’s times were deleted due to track limits, Magnussen admitted he was left with a sense of what might have been.
He felt even more was possible had he been able to finish a flying lap that was ruined by the red flag being shown for George Russell’s Mercedes after the British driver crashed at the final corner.
“Today has been a really good day. In FP3, we looked super strong,” Magnussen told Sky F1 after the session.
“We knew that probably some people would pick up the pace for qualifying but, I mean, we got P7 and P8.
“We got hurt a little bit by those red flags but even despite that, we went out with very cold tyres at the end, the only set we had, and it just wasn’t ideal. But anyway, good day for the team.”
Asked what he believed was possible had he been able to do the ideal lap, Magnussen suggested he could have pipped Alpine’s Esteban Ocon who will start one place up the road.
“Yeah, because I lost more than three-tenths in Sector 1 and then got all that back again for the rest of the lap,” he explained.
Kevin and Mick will line up on the fourth row of the grid for the #F1Sprint tomorrow.
Who fancies another double-points haul? 🤭🙋♂️🙋♂️#HaasF1 #AustrianGP pic.twitter.com/6LFcQ2sQDP
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) July 8, 2022
“So if I had done the same Sector 1 [as before], then I would have been three-tenths faster on my lap. So I dunno… it would have been almost [where Ocon was].”
Schumacher lines up in seventh – a strong result after securing his maiden F1 points at Silverstone. He also felt he had more pace in hand than he was able to show.
“We came quite close with that Q3 cut-off, so we were lucky there as we didn’t quite maximise the lap but otherwise it was okay, but not the cleanest of sessions,” he told media afterward.
“Trying to push the tyres to get them warmed up again is never great, you’re already taking some potential out of them and I think there was definitely more lap time in it. If we hold position tomorrow, we have points and if we move forward, we gain even more so we’ll go for the more points option hopefully.”
Team boss Guenther Steiner was pleased with both of his drivers executing what he felt was the potential within the car.
“It was a very good day today,” he commented.
“We started strong in FP1, everything was calm and we had no issues. Then we went into qualifying knowing that we can make it into Q3 on performance and we executed it.
“It was a good job by the whole team, and hopefully we can take it over to tomorrow’s sprint, keep on getting points and continuing like last week.”
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