Haas drivers happy with grid positions – unhappy with ‘zero laps’

Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen rounded off the top-ten in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, but both drivers lamented their lack of timed laps in Q3.

A queue of drivers trying to time their run and the clock prevented Grosjean and Magnussen from putting in a flyer in the final segment of Saturday’s session, a fate that also befell – and enraged – Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Haas’ chargers was perhaps less impacted by the turn of events but still lamented the missed opportunity.

“It was good to be in Q3, but not good to get zero laps – we just missed it,” said Magnussen who will line up P10 on Sunday’s grid, next to Grosjean.

“It was pretty messy towards the end of the lap. Everyone was trying to get started but also have somebody in front and it ended up just being too much and cost a few guys the lap.

“Everyone also went out at exactly the same time out of the pits. We were in front of each other and it was already a bit tight and then towards the tend of the lap you didn’t know whether to try to overtake people, in which case they’re going to try to defend.”

    2019 Chinese Grand Prix – Qualifying results

“I don’t think we’d have been much better if we’d had the lap, but it would still be good to try. At least we have some good tyres for tomorrow.

“I’m not as optimistic for Sunday but hopefully we’ll have a good result, we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Verstappen was livid at those – like Vettel – who had passed him in the queue. Magnussen chimed in on the issue, saying he would never deliberately thwart another driver’s effort.

“I don’t want to screw anyone, I don’t see any point in that. I try to do my own thing and try to have a good qualifying for myself and I would never try to screw anyone just for the hell of it.”

Grosjean agreed that the team had screwed-up its timing in qualifying, but the Frenchman preferred to look ahead and focus on his prospects for race day

“In Q3 we maybe hadn’t adjusted our clocks to Chinese time,” he joked.

“I think the car looked really good today, much better than yesterday, so I’m very happy with that.

“Renault looked really strong yesterday on their long runs, so let’s see if we can keep up with them. We’re in a pretty good position.

“Obviously, it wasn’t ideal to not set a time in Q3, but I think the pecking order we see there in Q3 is more representative of the pecking order for the year.”


Haas team boss Guenther Steiner dismissed the Q3 mishap altogether, insisting flyers from his drivers would have not led to a different overall result.

“We didn’t make it, but if you don’t take risks, well – we wouldn’t have gained if we’d gone out first,” reckoned the Italian.

“We would have been ninth and 10th anyway. With our position in the garages, we were the last ones to get in the row.

“We didn’t make it, despite our forecast. In the end it’s not fantastic, but it’s not the end of the world.

“As I said, I think we’ve shown ourselves to be strong in qualifying by once again having both cars in Q3.”

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