Spanish GP: Haas's Kevin Magnussen feels like he's on pole position

Kevin Magnussen says he feels like he has pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix because seventh is the best anyone outside the top three Formula 1 teams can achieve

Spanish GP: Haas's Kevin Magnussen feels like he's on pole position

The Haas driver was seventh or sixth in each of the three qualifying segments at Barcelona on Saturday, and he said he is preparing for a race where he effectively has no-one ahead of him to worry about.

"It's pole position for us - we don't really feel like we could have done any better," said Magnussen.

"Unless you are in a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull, then this is pole position.

"I really feel like I'm on pole position because I'm not really attacking anyone.

"Of course I'll take what is there if I get an opportunity, but I'm not expecting to be fighting anyone in front.

"In my position, the most important lap of the race will be lap one. I don't have that much to gain, but I have a lot to lose."

Qualifying recap

When asked if it would be wise to let the top cars get away so he could lead the midfield battle in clear air, Magnussen added: "I don't have a choice, they will go no matter what.

"If I can get out of lap one in seventh, then it will be like leading the race.

"You will see the guys in front, they will just go, and you will have free air.

"Whoever is in seventh is going to be in a good position tomorrow."

Magnussen will share the fourth row of the grid with McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who will be the only driver in the top 10 forced to start on the supersoft tyre because he used it to progress from Q2.

"I've got someone [alongside] who is really going to struggle to do a one-stop strategy," he said of Alonso.

"If he gets in front, then basically you can afford to wait for him to pit, then you just have to do a clean race.

"It's clearly not great to be starting on the supersoft, and I don't think anyone will be tomorrow except for the ones that have to.

"It's not faster. There's no upside to it. It wears out faster, and it's slower [in lap time]."

shares
comments
Ferrari F1 drivers explain switching to soft tyres for Spain Q3

Previous article

Ferrari F1 drivers explain switching to soft tyres for Spain Q3

Next article

Renault thought Hulkenberg's problem was fixed before F1 qualifying

Renault thought Hulkenberg's problem was fixed before F1 qualifying
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Olivier Panis , Kevin Magnussen
Teams Haas F1 Team
Author Glenn Freeman
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Plus

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola, whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021