Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Imola, 2022

Magnussen relieved to take fourth after “lucky” gravel trap escape

2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen admitted he thought his qualifying session was over when he spun into a gravel trap in Q3.

But the Haas driver was able to re-join the action and went on to equal his best qualifying performance to date by taking fourth place.

“I’m super pleased,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans after qualifying. “It’s another unbelievable result for us.

“The car was just great, so fast and a joy to drive. So proud of the team.”

Asked about the spin which nearly ended his session, Magnussen said: “I ran out of talent.” He spun backwards into a gravel trap at Acque Minerali, but managed to keep his car moving and eventually extracted himself from the run-off area.

But Magnussen admitted he feared he would go no further as he spun off the track. “I touched the white line and then it was gone and I thought I was going to hit the wall,” he said.

“Then I went into the gravel and slowed down quite a lot. I saw the anti-stall, pulled the clutch while I was still backwards and went on throttle just enough to get out into that escape road. Lucky!”

He returned to the track for a final bid to improve his time but was unable to beat Lando Norris for third place after the McLaren driver crashed at the same turn Magnussen had gone off at earlier.

Alfa Romeo, Imola, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix qualifying in pictures
“I only had a couple of hundredths of a second up to top three, so I was just going to go for that,” he said. “So I was a little disappointed when [the red flag] came out.

“But then I realised that we get P4. So it’s good, I’m really happy.”

Magnussen suspects he has qualified higher than would have been possible had the session stayed dry, and is hopeful he can maintain his advantage in tomorrow’s sprint race.

“We were more competitive in the wet for some reason, we made the tyres work better or whatever. But in the dry we got through to Q3 still in P7 and it wasn’t fantastic laps from my side and we were still dialling in the car. So it’s very positive.

“It’s going to be dry tomorrow, it looks, it’s not easy to overtake on this track so I’m hoping I can stay in the top eight and get some points.”

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2022 Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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10 comments on “Magnussen relieved to take fourth after “lucky” gravel trap escape”

  1. I’m beginning to understand why he is so popular in his teams. May not be nice to the Hulk; but I like his style :o)
    Cool reflexes to avoid getting stuck, solid and quick driving and a pleasant personality. Now, one of his quick starts tomorrow and he could start p3 Sunday on Imola. Who would’ve thunk a couple of months ago…

    1. Yeah, the way he knew exactly where the rear tyres were relative to the gravel was mighty impressive. I thought he’d fluked it at first. Perhaps the most impressive driving I’ve seen for a while. Though how he ended up there was less impressive.

      1. Yes, he did a good job to get out of there, especially without damaging the car, reminds me of hamilton always at this track in 2021 in the race, also in the wet.

  2. Another running out of talent joke.

  3. I don’t really get why Crofty seemed to think that because his car had stopped it meant he shouldn’t be able to take part in the rest of qualifying.

    I know what regulation he was referring to and that is all about stopping on track with a technical issue and thus needing outside assistance to get back to the pits rather than been aimed at a driver spinning and extracting themself from the runoff.

  4. Crofty is there to make sure everyone at home feels smarter. That and to hype up and add ‘excitement’ so people don’t fall asleep, so half his job is raising his voice as if something is happening, the rest is to be confused by what is actually happening. It has to be deliberate, or he is quite literally stupid as a brick, for man that has spent that much time with the circus to understand nothing about F1.

    1. bosco moroz
      23rd April 2022, 4:27


    2. Lol indeed. I’m increasingly now finding the Sky team excruciating.

      Also looks like the saving grace of Brundle is missing this week as well. So it’s whiny mcwhinyface alongside Crofty.

      I know they won’t but Sky could do with a good clear out of its supposed talent.

      Keep Button, Brundle, Pinkham, Brookes and Kravitz possibly Davison but jettison the rest and bring in Coulthard, Webber and maybe Ben Edwards for lead commentator

      1. Interesting – think DiResta is decent personally – has grown into the role after an uncertain start. For sure he spots things that Crofty and Brundle would miss and he is direct – I liked Horner’s response to Paul’s first question to him in their first pit wall mic chat of the week… “straight in there I see Paul!”
        By contrast Crofty has always irritated me although I get especially in practice there is a lot of time to fill and Brundle I think is getting close to his sell by date as feel he has lost his edge.

    3. I’m not british but it seems like Sky is afraid of losing the interest of their people. I would like to see some graphs how Hamilton’s success has affected british audience or how this season affects it.

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