Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Interlagos, 2022

“Red flag, this could be a problem”: How Magnussen’s pole stunned his own team

2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen and his Haas team managed a tricky, rain hit qualifying session impeccably to deliver a shock pole position for today’s sprint race at the Interlagos.

He clinched pole position after a superbly-executed opening lap in Q3 on slick tyres as rain began to fall at the track. As the rain worsened, the team realised he had a genuine chance of pole position as others would be unable to improve their lap times.

When George Russell spun off and caused a red flag, the team feared a delay could give the track a chance to dry out and put his position in jeopardy. However the conditions remained too poor for slick tyres when the session restarted, and Magnussen had achieved a remarkable triumph.

Magnussen’s Brazilian GP qualifying transcript


Drivers opted for intermediate tyres as qualifying began on a damp track. Magnussen found his wore out quickly, but chose a second set for his next run as the track hadn’t dried out quickly enough for intermediates.

SladeWait for the green light. Wait for the green light. All cars behind so far are on inters, 40 seconds.
Slade25 seconds.
SladeJust over 10 seconds, Kev.
SladeFive seconds.
SladeGreen light.
MagnussenOkay. Track is inter.
SladeMode push, good to go.
SladeBC1, please, BC1.
SladeKeep pushing on the next lap, please.
SladeSOC when possible. SOC three when possible.
MagnussenTyres are dead.
SladeCopy, tyres are dead.
MagnussenIt’s drying up quickly.
SladeSo we’ll box, for inters or dries, Kev? Watch Hamilton two-and-a-half seconds behind, timed lap.
MagnussenIt’s not dry yet. I don’t know. Should we stay out just to monitor the…
SladeWe will box for inters, we’ll box for inters.
MagnussenOkay. Box, box.
SladeHamilton one-and-a-half seconds behind.
MagnussenI think it’s not dry yet.
SladeCopy that. How is the balance? Should we add front wing or are you happy.
MagnussenEr, please add front wing.
SladeCopy that.

Having set a 1’19.789 on his first run, Magnussen was unable to improve on his next effort. Meanwhile other drivers had decided to risk slicks and found the track was ready for them.

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SladeK2 please Kev K2. Watch out for Gasly as you come out of pit exit. Okay he’s just going past now.
MagnussenDo you want SOC two?
SladeLet’s go SOC two. SOC three, SOC three please Kev.
MagnussenCopy, SOC three.
SladeNext car Leclerc, seven seconds behind.
SladeWatch out for what Tsunoda, sorry, Tsunoda, I don’t know where he came from. He’s two seconds behind, I think he’s backed off.
SladeOkay next car is Leclerc three seconds behind, watch for Leclerc, two and a half seconds.
SladeEB7 please. Let Leclerc through, make a gap, that’s it, good job, EB7. Watch out of Bottas three seconds behind. Mode push.
Slade(ends lap) Shape two, please, Kev, shape two.
SladeLap deleted…
MagnussenTyres are done.
SladeCopy that. We have cars on dry tyres now. Gasly’s on dry tyres.
MagnussenDo you want to box now?
SladeNo, do not box now, it’s not good for timing. Just try for another lap. That lap was deleted. Track limits at turn eight.
SladeSOC one please Kev.
SladeIs the track okay for dry tyres?
MagnussenIt looks like it, yeah.
SladeShape three please Kev, shape three.
MagnussenAre we boxing now?
SladeBoxing at the end of this lap. Mode in, please, mode in.
SladeCar behind Vettel you’ve just passed, Gasly three seconds behind, timed lap. Gasly two seconds behind, we’re going to fit dry tyres. watch out for Gasly, okay, you’re clear behind now. We’re boxing for dry tyres.
MagnussenHow is it looking for Gasly?
SladeYeah, he’s quick. So it does look like it’s the right tyre.
SladeOkay Kev we [hold you] in the box, just to get the timing right. So confirming.
MagnussenBox, box. I need more than one lap, right? More than one.
SladeTwo laps. We’ll do two timed laps.
SladeStops behind Schumacher in pits
Tyre one please Kev, tyre one. Kev can we K2 for the out-lap and SOC two, please.
MagnussenJust remember red flags, et cetera.
Magnussen bagged a place in Q2 while his team mate dropped out

Haas held Magnussen in the pits behind team mate Mick Schumacher before sending both out for their final runs with enough time to complete two laps.

Schumacher’s first run was a steady 1’20.082 and he only improved to 1’16.361 on his next effort. Magnussen’s first lap out was quicker than either of those times – a 1’15.755 – and with his tyres continuing to give more grip he was able to produce a 1’13.954 on his last run which secured his place in Q2. His bemused team mate was eliminated in last place.

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SladeOkay Kev. Can you go to multi-function bravo four position one please. That’s multi-function B4 position one. Watch for Latifi on a timed lap, three seconds behind. 1.5 seconds now. It’s going to be two pushes in a row, that’s why we’re on SOC two. And can you go to diff 21, please, dif 21. Hamilton on a timed lap, five seconds behind. So need to push the tyres pretty hard, Kev, to get temperature please.
SladeOkay Kev you have five seconds behind so gap is good at the moment. So mode push, just wait a little bit, then good to go.
SladeGood to go, good to go.
SladeMost likely the second lap will be quickest, Kev. Second lap likely to be the quickest.
Slade(does two laps) Awesome job Kev. P3. Fantastic. Well done mate. So mode in please, mode in. Boxing this lap obviously.
SladeSo you’re P6 at the moment, Kev, so awesome job. How many laps do you want on dry tyres for the next session?
MagnussenI mean it’s dry. Normal, probably.
SladeCopy so we’ll go for one timed lap. Maybe first run, Kev, we’re thinking fast-slow-fast and then reconsider for the next run, just to get an idea.
MagnussenYeah I agree.
SladeCopy. So, Kev’s 40 seconds to the garage, 40 seconds for Kev.
SladeAnd for reference you finished P7, Kev so you did an excellent job there.
MagnussenYeah good job man.
SladeOkay Kev this is going to be a turnaround, we need to be ready to go right at the start of next session because of more rain coming our way.
MagnussenCopy that.


The track continued to dry as Q2 began and slick tyres were clearly the way to go. This time the team decided to do cool-down laps between their flat-out efforts, and Magnussen’s first run yielded a best time of 1’11.691.

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SladeSession starts in 15 seconds, 10 seconds.
MagnussenJust have Vettel ahead.
SladeCopy that, Kev. That’s green light now.
SladeOkay Kev you’ve got Gasly four seconds behind, obviously also on out-lap.
SladeTyre temps are reasonable, maybe a little bit low at the front but not too bad. So let’s make a gap to Stroll. Mode push, mode push. Good to go.
MagnussenLet’s go SOC one.
SladeCopy. SOC one is good.
SladeDRS is enabled, Kev, DRS is enabled.
SladeCharge on, charge on. Just watch for Gasly three seconds behind. He’s just completed a timed lap but may continue into another lap. Looks like he’s still pushing. Yeah he’s going to come past you shortly, okay.
SladeMultifunction QR position 10, please. Watch out for Verstappen 10 seconds behind. So that’s multifunction QR position 10.
SladeOkay no threats behind at the moment.
SladeOkay gaps are good, mode push, good to go.
Slade(ends lap) Mode in, box this lap, currently P4, excellent work Kev. So Kev we’re thinking we should do fast-slow-fast again, what do you think?
MagnussenI’m just thinking.
MagnussenYeah, I agree.
SladeCopy that. So you are currently still P4, 11.7, Gasly 11.675, Verstappen 11.670, Norris 11.571. Watch out for Gasly, one-and-a-half… two seconds behind.
SladeSo confirming you are boxing this lap.

The rain returned as Magnussen ventured out for his second and final run in Q2. However the track was still dry enough for drivers to improve their lap times, which Magnussen did with his final attempt, producing a 1’11.410 which ensured he reached Q3.

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SladeI’m thinking whether we should add more front wing now.
MagnussenCopy shape four. Mode K2 plus.
SladeTrack is clear, track is clear. Okay so you’ve got Stroll two seconds behind you, also out-lap, no other threats at the moment.
MagnussenIt’s spitting quite a bit more now.
SladeYeah, probably still the quickest tyre for the first lap so push as hard as you’re able to. We’ve got Hamilton five seconds, six seconds behind on a timed lap. He has gone green in sector one, so it’s still quick out there.
MagnussenIf you could update me if anyone goes off or goes wide, something like that.
MagnussenWhich corner. That’s good info.
SladeOkay Hamilton five seconds behind. Remember mode push you are good to go, good to go.
SladeCars are still going faster all around the circuit, Kev. Still the right tyre.
Slade(Ends lap) Charge on. Stay behind Perez, stay behind Perez.
SladeWatch Norris two seconds behind pushing. So although the times are now slower, these cars are still trying to go faster, but they haven’t made it so far. Okay so Norris through, Verstappen three-and-a-half seconds behind, he’s going to be clear anyway. Verstappen two and a half seconds. You are still P8, Kev, you are still P8. Verstappen coming through, just watch out. So you think you can go faster on the next lap.
MagnussenWe’ll see. I think so, yeah.
SladeOkay copy that. So you’ve got Gasly four and a half seconds behind, four seconds behind, timed lap. Three and a half seconds now. You’ve got a good gap to Verstappen in front. Watch out for Gasly. Still cars setting green sectors. Gasly two seconds behind, let him through. Then we’ve got Alonso six seconds behind so you’re in good shape. Can afford to drop back a little bit. Remember mode push. And you’re good to go, good to go.
Slade(ends lap) Okay so mode in please Kev. Currently P7, nice work.
SladeWatch out for Norris. Watch out for Norris. Okay he’s three seconds behind I think. There’s still time left in the session. Okay Norris has backed off, stand by. We’ve got Alonso about six seconds behind, pushing, so just keep an eye on him.
MagnussenIs he behind us? On the timings.
SladeGasly? Yes, he is. So Vettel car behind is on an in-lap. Norris behind in-lap. Sorry, Alonso is ahead, he’s backed off. Gasly on a timed lap is P12 at the moment. You’re still P7. Gasly has backed off so he’s not going to make it. Okay, we think we’re okay. Maintain a negative delta, maintain negative delta please Kev, make sure you do that. Watch out for Gasly, he’s still two seconds behind, two seconds behind. Box this lap.
MagnussenBox, box.
SladeOkay Kev we think we should still go fast-slow-fast based on what we’ve seen so far.
MagnussenYeah copy that. We need to dim the lights on the dash.


Haas’ garage position allowed Magnussen to claim the perfect starting position

As Q3 began the radars showed more rain was imminent, but the teams couldn’t be sure exactly when it would hit. Haas, situated closest to the pit lane exit, sent Magnussen to it over a minute before the session was due to start, a set of slick tyres fitted, hoping to put in a quick lap on slicks before the conditions worsened.

Every other team chose the same tyres except Ferrari, who hedged their bets. Charles Leclerc lined up immediately behind Magnussen on a set of intermediates, while Carlos Sainz Jnr behind him took slicks.

This worked in Magnussen’s favour. When the session began Leclerc took his time exiting the pits, no doubt reasoning the longer he took the more chance there was rain would arrive before he began his lap. But once he reached the track he let Sainz by, and Max Verstappen picked his way past too.

However Magnussen had built up a useful gap over the pack and benefitted from the best available conditions. He nailed his first lap, producing a 1’11.674, only two-tenths of a second slower than he had been in Q2. Sainz and Verstappen both made mistakes on their laps, and the others were increasingly hampered by the rain.

Parts of Haas’s radio exchange with Magnussen in which he discovered he was on course for pole position were broadcast on the world television feed during qualifying. These were edited for broadcast, and the actual sequence of messages shows how concerned they were that the red flag triggered by Russell might cost him pole position.

SladeKev you’ve got just over one minute, just over one minute.
SladeWe have one car on inters. Everyone else is on dries at the moment, okay. So the first lap could be it. But if you think it is clearly too wet for the dry tyres, we’ll box for inters. But at the moment you’re in the same shape as everybody bar one. There’s 35 seconds to go.
Slade20 seconds to go.
Slade10 seconds,
Slade5 seconds, four, three, two, one, green light.
SladeOkay Kev you’re in good shape. Remember mode push before turn 12.
SladeEnds lap
Mode in. Push on the in-lap do fast in-lap please.
SladeHow’s the front wing, Kev, how’s the front wing.
MagnussenFeels good. Leave it like that.
SladeWill do.
MagnussenIn sector two
It’s too wet now. Quali is over now?
SladeCopy that, Kev.
SladeOkay Kev.
MagnussenAt Mergulho
What position are we?
SladeEr, you’re P1, mate.
MagnussenYou’re kidding.
SladeI’m not kidding. I’ve got to buy everybody dinner if we finish there tonight.
MagnussenYou’re kidding! You are fucking kidding me. Come on. Don’t fucking kid me.
SladeEnters pits
Red flag. Red flag. Red flag. Okay, this could be a problem, Kev, this could be a problem.
MagnussenYou fucking me?
SladeHang on, red flag, we’ve got a red flag. We’ve got a red flag so that means the session will restart, Kev. There’s still time. There’s still time, okay? So let’s keep it… we’re in good shape, Kev, we’re in good shape, but there is a risk of the session restarting. So let’s just keep it calm, yeah?. So stop on the marks, P1.
MagnussenStops in pit box
I’ve never, ever felt like this in my life. Guys.
SladeIt’s not over yet.
MagnussenDon’t celebrate yet, don’t celebrate yet, come on.
SladeIt’s not over yet, Kev. You’ve done an excellent job so far, but let’s just keep focussed.

When Q3 finally restarted, Magnussen and the team watched the clock run down in the pits as Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton took to the track but discovered it was far too wet to set a quick time on. With two minutes to go, and no one heading out to attempt a time, the team began celebrating.

The celebrations began at Haas

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2022 Brazilian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...

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3 comments on ““Red flag, this could be a problem”: How Magnussen’s pole stunned his own team”

  1. @keithcollantine it would be interesting to see the Q1 radio messages for Schumacher. There’s some good comms for Mag here and I would hope that Schumacher got the same.

    There’s a lot of comments on how Haas is not supporting Mick in the same way, which feels stupid, why would a team fighting for millions in the constructors purposefully deny themselves more chances, and if that plays through on the messages.

    1. Indeed, especially since they seem to have made a choice to drop schumacher when, considering his limited experience, he’s still improving and doing fine in comparison to magnussen.

  2. Haas’ radio messages demonstrate a lot of awareness of other drivers’ fast laps which throws credit on the team’s organisation.

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