Kevin Magnussen believes he hooked up one of the best laps of his career in Monaco to give Haas their best ever starting position at the circuit.
The Dane qualified P6, which became P5 after Pierre Gasly’s penalty, but he almost didn’t even make the final qualifying session.
After making contact with the inside wall at Mirabeau with just 10 minutes of Q2 remaining, K-Mag slipped down to P12, but a frantic front wing change from Haas allowed him to return to the track, make Q3, and ultimately go on to secure precious track position on a Monaco circuit where overtaking is difficult.
“I hit the wall and damaged the front wing”, Magnussen told the official F1 website.
“I had to abort that lap and come in and change it. That wasn’t planned so they were stressing like hell. They still did it and turned it around and enabled me to get out and do the laps that I was meant to. Just brilliant!”
When asked whether his Q3 effort was the best lap of his Formula 1 career, Magnussen replied: “I think so – it was good.”
Haas brought an upgraded VF-19 to Barcelona last time out, and with the Ferrari Spec Two engine now bolted in, the team are looking good for another strong points haul to add to their first double-points finish of 2019 at the Spanish GP.
Needed a big shift from these guys today and they absolutely delivered 🙌
— Haas F1 Team (@HaasF1Team) May 25, 2019
However, it was confidence that propelled Magnussen in qualifying, as he admitted that the car had barely been worked on.
“We’ve had a good car all weekend so we haven’t really touched it actually”, he revealed.
“We just [ran] the set-up that we started in FP1 basically. We’ve just tried to go forward a little bit on mechanical balance and then we’ve gone back again and kind of just left it. It’s been really good.
“It felt amazing,” he added after setting a fastest time that was over a second-and-a-half quicker than Haas’ best time in Monaco qualifying last year.
“It’s such a thrill going around these streets at that speed. It’s bloody good fun you know, it’s really good.”
Unlike others on the grid, Magnussen is hoping for a dry race tomorrow as he looks to secure back-to-back points finishes for the first time since the last two rounds of 2018.
“Well for me, fingers crossed it won’t rain,” said the 26-year-old.
“A good start… I’m just happy if I can stay where I am and get through there and then we’ll see. You know [tyre] graining is an issue, but we’ll see if we’re worse than others. It’s a pretty difficult track to overtake, so I’m not too worried.”
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