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Haas: Unfortunately this was not unexpected

Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean qualified 15th and 18th, respectively, for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, the 15th round of the FIA Formula One World Championship on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.

Magnussen will start the Singapore Grand Prix 14th as Racing Point driver Sergio Perez, who qualified 11th, was issued a five-position grid penalty for an unapproved gearbox change.

In Q1, Magnussen laid down a lap of 1:39.942 around the 5.063-kilometre (3.146-mile), 23-turn temporary circuit to take the 15th and final position to advance to the Q2 session. Grosjean’s lap of 1:40.277 was 18th overall, .335 of a second out of the top-15..

Magnussen improved his time slightly in Q2, but he remained 15th with his best lap of 1:39.650.

Both Haas F1 Team drivers utilized the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires throughout qualifying.

Taking the Singapore Grand Prix pole and for the third race in a row was Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari, whose fast Q3 lap of 1:36.217 beat second-place qualifier Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes by .191 of a second. It was Leclerc’s fifth career pole and his fifth of the season. The Marina Bay Street Circuit qualifying record of 1:36.015 set by Hamilton in Q3 last year remained intact.

Q1 Rundown

  • Lasts 18 minutes, with all 20 drivers participating
  • Fastest 15 drivers advance to Q2
  • Magnussen: 15th overall (1:39.942), advanced to Q2
  • Grosjean: 18th overall (1:40.277)
  • Fastest Driver: Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes (1:37.317)
  • Cutoff: 15th overall Magnussen

Q2 Rundown

  • Lasts 15 minutes, featuring the 15 fastest drivers from Q1
  • Fastest 10 drivers advance to Q3
  • Magnussen: 15th overall (1:39.650)
  • Fastest Driver: Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari (1:36.650)
  • Cutoff: 10th overall Nico Hulkenberg of Renault (1:38.580)

Romain Grosjean: “I think there was more in the package than what we got. We changed the car after yesterday, reverted to a lot of parts from the Melbourne-spec – on my side of the garage. We didn’t have a chance to try it in cool conditions because FP3 was still warm. I think the balance got away from us in qualifying, so we couldn’t quite extract the maximum. It’s unfortunate but I think we just didn’t get the time to set it up right for the cooler temperatures. Maybe it’s a better package for the race, we’ll see tomorrow.”

Kevin Magnussen: “We didn’t have the pace today. I kind of expected it to be a tough day. Now we’ll see if we can make the tires hang on in the race and hopefully hold our starting position. I’m not expecting to make much ground, but you can always hope that people make some mistakes. If we can hang onto our position then maybe with safety car and a lucky pitstop or something, we could make some progress even without having the pace. That’s what we cross our fingers for tomorrow.”

Guenther Steiner: “Unfortunately, this was not unexpected today – this result. I actually think Kevin (Magnussen) did a good job to get into Q2. We know where we are at the moment, we just need to keep on working.”