Kevin Magnussen qualified P4 for Saturday’s Sprint event at Imola, making an unbelievable achievement, the greatest ever for Haas in a Formula 1 qualifying session.
Kevin Magnussen made it to Q3 in a session marred by a slew of red lights, including one raised by the Haas driver himself following a spin at Acque Minerale.
Magnussen’s car escaped with minor damage, and the Dane was able to reverse out of the gravel trap and return to the pits.
The Dane continued the session after a quick clean-up by his team and set the fourth quickest time, a position secured by a late spin and another red flag caused by McLaren’s Lando Norris.
“I was super pleased, it’s another unbelievable result for us,” Magnussen said after the chaotic qualifying session which brought out five flags. “The car was just great, so fast and a joy to drive. [I’m] so proud of the team.”
Magnussen joked that his early Q3 spin at Acque Minerali was due to him “running out of talent.”
“I touched the white line and then it was gone, and I thought I was going to hit the wall,” he said.
“I then went into gravel and slowed down quite a lot so I realised, I saw the anti-stall, pulled the clutch while I was still backwards, and then went onto the throttle just enough to get out into that escape road… Yeah, lucky.”
Magnussen will start from the outside of the second row in Saturday’s Sprint race, hoping to hold his own on the opening lap of the 21-lap chase and then take it from there.
“I want to start in the good position for the Sunday… we’re P4,” the Haas driver said.
“In the dry, I don’t think we’re fast enough to be P4, but it’s tricky track to overtake, so if I can get around the first lap in P4, that’s gonna be super.”
“If I lose a position or two after that, you know we’re still get points and a great position for Sunday. Of course I always want to finish higher than fourth, but we also got to be realistic and clever.”