Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean earned strong starting positions for Sunday’s British Grand Prix by advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying Saturday at Silverstone Circuit. The duo qualified a best-of-the-rest seventh and eighth, respectively, behind the powerhouse teams of Mercedes, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull. It was the third straight race where Haas F1 Team advanced both its drivers into Q3, as well as the fifth time this season and the sixth time in the American squad’s three-year history.
Grosjean set the ninth-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:28.086 around the 5.891-kilometer (3.66-mile), 18-turn track. Magnussen was right behind his teammate in 10th with a lap of 1:28.143. Just .057 of a second separated the two pilots, with both handily inside the top-15 cutoff to advance into Q2.
In Q2, Grosjean earned the seventh-fastest time with a lap of 1:27.522 and Magnussen was only .208 of a second behind in eighth with a lap of 1:27.730, allowing each driver to eclipse the top-10 cutoff and join Q3.
The heavy hitters of Formula One – four-time and reigning champion Mercedes, 16-time champion Scuderia Ferrari and four-time champion Red Bull – were all represented in Q3 and predictably locked out the top-six positions. Nonetheless, Haas F1 Team held its own amongst these giants. Magnussen topped the midfield by qualifying seventh with a lap of 1:27.244, and Grosjean was hot on his heels, just .211 of a second behind in eighth with a lap of 1:27.455.
Both Magnussen and Grosjean ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire throughout qualifying.
Before Magnussen, Grosjean and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. Both Magnussen and Grosjean began the session with an installation lap on the Ice Blue hard tire before switching to the Yellow soft compound.
I’m very happy. Knowing that we didn’t drive at all yesterday afternoon and we only did one lap on the soft in the morning, I think it’s a really good recovery. This morning, the session with the red flag, it was not easy in FP3, but we got here and we’ve got the two cars in seventh and eighth. I think that’s the best we can do, so we can be very happy with that. My last lap, I didn’t put everything on the table, which I think was the right thing to do. For the team, seventh and eighth is amazing, and I think we can have a great race. If we can get as much luck as we did in Austria, it’ll be great, but if the two of us can go in the no-man’s land and push from there, do our race, it’ll be good.”
This is good fun. We have this ‘B’ championship that we’re focused on with all the midfield teams. It’s really entertaining. There’s lots of pressure because it’s all so close, but we nailed it today with P7 and P8, with Haas best of the rest. It’s a pole position in the ‘B’ championship, so I’m really happy. It’s a good position to be in. You’re not really looking ahead – we’ll be looking behind – so it’s completely like being in pole position. The guys in front, they’re just going to go ahead and disappear. If I can get out of the first lap in the same position, which will be tricky, then hopefully I’ll have a clear track and be able to nurse my tires and do the race. Let’s see. It’s been a good Saturday today, and it’s a good starting point for tomorrow.”
Guenther Steiner – Team Principal:
It was a very good recovery from yesterday. Everybody on the team did a great job to get the car together again, and get a good car for Romain. Both drivers did a fantastic job. We’re in a good position for tomorrow to get points. There are a lot of other people that want the points as well, so we’ll see what happens.”