'Pumped' Magnussen delighted to qualify fourth for Haas at team's home race in Miami
A pumped-up Kevin Magnussen was delighted to qualify up in fourth place for Sunday’s Miami Grand Prix, although his Haas team mate Nico Hulkenberg was left frustrated after being knocked out in Q2.
Magnussen then made his first foray into Q3 this season in Miami and on his first – and only – lap in the session he clocked a time of 1m 27.767s to put him in fourth, ahead of the Alpine of Pierre Gasly, and just under a second behind pole-sitter Sergio Perez.
The Dane had been readying himself to go for another lap when Charles Leclerc crashed into the barrier, which brought out the red flags and subsequently brought the session to a close, much to Magnussen and Haas’ delight.
Asked if he was delighted with his performance following qualifying, Magnussen replied: “Absolutely. I’m well chuffed with that in the US, Miami Grand Prix, in front of our home crowd, title sponsors, it’s great to be able to put on a result like that.
“Of course, there is no points for qualifying, we know that, but we also know how good it feels to have a good qualifying. That was a lot of fun and hopefully that gets everybody a bit pumped for tomorrow.”
When asked if he could do something special in Sunday’s race, Magnussen said: “I am hopeful. We had a good long run, high fuel run at least, we didn’t go that long on it. But the car felt very good on high fuel. Glad to be starting P4 tomorrow, really, really pumped.”
Hulkenberg, on the other hand, believed it should have been two Haas cars making it into Q3, after the German driver qualified down in 12th, although he later revealed that traffic on his final out lap in Q2, was to blame for his performance.
“The car felt good,” said Hulkenberg. “Definitely we should be in the top 10, I shouldn’t be standing here, but unfortunately my last run got really compromised on the out lap with traffic and I didn’t do the second lap with new tyres.
“My Q2 lap was on used tyres so a bit frustrating and a big shame because the car, there was a lot more in it and a lot more potential.”
Asked if he was optimistic about his chances in Sunday’s race, Hulkenberg said: “I am. I think the car’s been happier from Lap 1, it seems to fit well to this place, I like it too. So that, at least, is a very good positive for tomorrow heading into the race with some pace.”
While his Saturday ended in promising circumstances, Magnussen had been under investigation for an infringement on Lewis Hamilton that saw the Mercedes driver hit the wall – although the stewards later cleared him of any wrongdoing after qualifying.