Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Seventh place like a pole position – Magnussen

2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen described taking seventh on the grid for the Spanish Grand Prix as a ‘pole position’ for his Haas team.

As the faster qualifier outside of the leading Mercedes, Ferraris and Red Bulls, Magnussen believes a better result was not possible for the team.

“It was a good day for us,” says Magnussen. “It’s pole position for us. So we don’t really feel like we could’ve done any better. Unless you are in a Ferrari, a Mercedes or a Red Bull, then this is pole position.”

Despite qualifying seventh, Magnussen went faster on the soft tyres in Q2 than on super softs in the final shoot-out session. Magnussen believes the yellow-marked compound will be the preferred tyre during tomorrow’s race.

“Even though the temperatures came down, I still did my fastest lap in qualifying on the softs,” explains Magnussen.

“It’s clearly not great to be starting on the super softs and I don’t think anyone will unless they have to. It’s not faster. There’s no upside to being on the super softs. It wears out faster and it’s slower.”

Magnussen believes the start of the race will be crucial, but does not feel Haas will be in a position to challenge the leaders during the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I don’t think we can fight the Red Bull,” says Magnussen. “In my position, the most important lap of the race will be the first lap. For sure. I don’t think I have that much to win. I have a lot to lose.

“I really feel like I’m on pole position because I’m not really attacking anyone ahead. Of course I’ll take whatever is there if I get an opportunity, but I’m not expecting to be fighting in front. It’s just a race of trying to maximise your own race and perform.”

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Gabriele Koslowski
Gabriele Koslowski first began following Formula 1 during the early noughties, and is a director of a Belgian motorsport media company. During the past...
Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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12 comments on “Seventh place like a pole position – Magnussen”

  1. You can do it Magnussen. Keep away from Verstappen – we all know he will crash him self and at least one more car out off the race. Everything can happen.

    1. He’s as wreckless as VES.
      God forbid if someone tries to pass either one of them at the start.

  2. I was surprised to see RB and Ferrari do q2 on softs, undercutting or an early sc will force the top cars to 2 stop, starting on ss would give you a chance to get rid of them quickly and still one stop

    1. only if the SS are faster. The problem is: they do not.

  3. Ofc he describes a 7th place like a pole position: he has all top cars ahead, more than that wasn’t possible, just like massa’s 7th place in brazil last year, can’t ask for more from midfield drivers.

  4. MAG is an excellent driver really.. people should stop all that bad reputation moaning.. its pure spin from the midfield to undermine Haas and their drivers..

    1. This would be the same Magnussen who was kicked out of McLaren for a very underwhelming performance against Button, and was then kicked out of Renault for being one of the most accident prone drivers in 2016?
      He wasn’t exactly setting the world alight when racing against Palmer at Renault either, being only marginally better in qualifying (outqualifying Palmer 11 times, whilst Palmer outqualified Magnussen 8 times), and in terms of who beat who, where both drivers finished the race, it was tied at 6-6. That’s a performance that was fairly average at best, and even slightly mediocre at worst – if I’m frank, it feels more like he’s being slightly flattered by the car.

      1. As the car is faster/has more potential, but still has some issues, it is noteworthy that Magnussen is clearly faster than Grosjean in most sessions. It also seems as if Grosjean is cracking under pressure, as he had probably hoped that this season would put him in contention for a seat with a better team. The error Grosjean made in Baku, was most unfortunate, but a sign that he has difficulties handling the pressure from higher expectations coming with having a better car and the fact that Magnussen most of the time has been faster. The Haas team’s performance in the pits also indicates that they are stressed a lot, and maybe more so by the higher expectations due to the improved car.

      2. Mclaren was desperate at that point, the team was downspiraling and they needed a Miracle.

        He wasnt kicked for underwhelming performance, He was kicked because Button had way more experience and they need to setup a ride for Alonso.

        With your logic, do you think Vandoorne is outperforming Button at this point?

        Magnussen had an offer for 1. at Renault, wich he declined. He was not kicked.

        Both Renault and Mclaren had huge issues when Magnussen was driving for them.

        Your comment makes no sense though, you are trying to prove that he is a terrible driver at the very moment where he is constantly in top 10.

        The 2018 Haas is the first car Magnussen drives that he actually helped develope. The car that is arguable the best of the rest.
        I get that he is the “bad boy” and its popular to hate him, but he is by no means a bad driver.

  5. Hope Haas het the points today, they messed up a lot so far. Nice to see Mag up there, best they can get.

  6. Revenge completed.

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