Magnussen: ‘Days like this are what make you happy’

Sam Cooper
Kevin Magnussen during qualifying. Montreal, June 2022.

Haas' Kevin Magnussen turns round a wet corner. Montreal, June 2022.

Kevin Magnussen said “days like this are what make you happy” after he and his team-mate Mick Schumacher completed a third-row lockout in Montreal.

The Dane finished the better of the two drivers, putting his Haas car in P5, while Schumacher earned a career-best P6, one spot behind him as Haas locked out the third row in their joint best ever result in Formula 1.

The performance again showed the Haas’ potential in wet conditions, having produced a similarly elevated level of performance at Imola.

It was a welcome turn of fortune for the team who have spent more time worrying about retirements than about points of late. Magnussen said it was days like Saturday that put a smile on his face.

“It was what we had hoped for, right? We’ve seen before at Imola that we like these conditions and we got the job done today,” he said to reporters after qualifying.

“It was all about continuously always put[ting in] a better lap because the track was getting better and better, but then you have to push all the time and it’s very enjoyable in these conditions.

“Days like this are what make you happy and what really make you smile, but there’s no points today so it’s just a bit of reason to smile and nothing else. It’s a good starting position for tomorrow and that’s when we go to do the job.”

While others were struggling to find the thin stretch of drying track, Schumacher found he had grip everywhere and, like Magnussen, was impressed with the car’s ability in wet conditions.

“I found grip everywhere I put the car, which obviously is what I wanted,” he said. “Unfortunately that last set of tyres, I had to slow down because of Carlos [Sainz] and then my tyres had cooled down a bit, which didn’t help Turn 1 and then the mess kind of started.

“It wasn’t great, but up till then very, very happy and it’s something I can build on and something I can grow.”

Schumacher also remarked he believed wet conditions allowed drivers to show what they can really do behind the wheel.

“I’ve always loved racing in wet conditions, going quick and trying to find the limit,” he added. “I think especially in qualifying, like this and at a track like this, there’s big potential for drivers showing what they can do. I felt like I was able to do that today.”

Team boss Guenther Steiner now wants to see the qualifying performance translate into the race and his first aim is to see both drivers cross the finish line.

“We need to finish because we didn’t do that in the last races, at least with one car we didn’t, so we need to get to the finish and then we just need to try to keep the positions or even better than if something happens in front of us,” he said to Sky Sports F1.

“But first of all, if you could hold these positions I will be more than happy.”