Kevin Magnussen will line up fifth on Sunday’s German Grand Prix starting grid, the Dane delivering to Haas its best qualifying performance since it joined the F1 grid in 2016.
Magnussen was consistently in the midfield mix through the first two segments of the Saturday afternoon session, ultimately edging team mate Romain Grosjean by 0.344s in Q3.
“That was a nice lap at the end,” said the Haas driver when all was said and done.
“There was no beating the Red Bulls – they’re still too far ahead for us to play with them, but we’re best of the rest again, and that’s our target.
“Now we just need to get it tomorrow as well, which is the bigger challenge.”
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On paper, Hockenheim appeared less well suited to the qualities of Haas’ Ferrari-powered VF-18 than a fast track such as Silverstone. But today’s performance leads Magnussen to believe that the US outfit’s car has perhaps improved in the slower sections.
“I still think our car is particularly strong in the high-speed, we’ve kind of been a bit weaker in the low-speed.
“This track does have a few low-speed corners and we seem to be good here so maybe we’ve improved our weakness. Certainly our strength is still the high-speed and that’s where the car really is alive and works really well. Overall it’s very good clearly.”
Magnussen is confident he can hold his own on race day, with cooler temperatures forecast for Sunday helping his cause.
“For tomorrow, you just hope the guys ahead get a good start so we can get some free air and do our own thing.
“We’re lucky that it’s looking like the temperatures will be a little bit cooler. With the problems we had on Friday with the overheating of the tires, maybe it’ll be a bit better.
“Hopefully, the car will behave well, as it did today, and we can score some good points.”
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