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Nico Hulkenberg, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
Nico Hulkenberg, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen qualified 15th and 19th respectively for the Qatar Grand Prix, Round 18 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship and the fourth of six scheduled Sprint weekends.

As usual, the new Sprint-format weekend kicked off on Friday with one solitary practice session before qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix. With neither driver having competed at the Lusail International Circuit in Formula 1, Hulkenberg and Magnussen wasted little time in getting down to business in FP1 – their VF-23s the first cars out on what was initially a virtually grip-less track. 

Both drivers ran a set of the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tires and a set of the Red softs – on which they set their fastest laps. Hulkenberg clocked a 1:28.171 to land P7 at the checkered with Magnussen setting a 1:29.502 to sit P20.

Knockout qualifying commenced under the lights at 20:00 local time with air temperature at the Lusail International Circuit still a balmy 31.6 degrees Celsius (88.8 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Q1 saw Magnussen exit at the end of the first session with three timed runs on softs netting a best lap of 1:27.046 – the Dane out in P19. Hulkenberg had just two outings, also on softs – the German advancing into Q2 in P10 courtesy of a 1:25.905 effort.

Hulkenberg saw his fastest lap time in Q2, a 1:25.547, deleted for track limits at Turn 5 – leaving his earlier banker of 1:25.783 (P15) as the lap time to stand at the checkered. 

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen claimed pole position (1:23.778) beating out Mercedes’ George Russell to the top spot in Q3.

Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen:

“On my side, it’s a new track and I found it a little more difficult to learn than I had hoped. It’s actually a pretty tricky circuit to drive and not having been to it before, it’s taken me a while to get on top of it. So, there’s a lot more lap time to find from me. It’s a long weekend ahead still, but of course disappointed with P19, but we’ll try and do better in the next session.”


Nico Hulkenberg:

“It was hectic in a way, but ultimately not good enough or fast enough, we lacked a bit of pace and balance. Obviously, during a Sprint there isn’t a lot of practice so we couldn’t play with the car or the set-up as much as I or the team would’ve liked. Tomorrow, we have qualifying straight away in different conditions, when it’s much hotter. It will be a bit of a surprise, a mixed bag of what we’re going to get, so we just need to be on our toes and react quickly.”


Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

“After a relatively good FP1 with Nico we were hoping for more than what got out of qualifying. With Kevin, he never got in gear I’d say - he wasn’t there in FP1 and he wasn’t there in qualifying. We have another qualifying session tomorrow with the Sprint Shootout, so we’ll try to get better to understand why we fell back in qualifying from FP1 and why we lost so much pace. We need to look into it and hopefully come back stronger on Saturday.”


Today's Data

Event: Qualifying for the Qatar Grand Prix – Friday October 6
Location:  Lusail International Circuit, Doha
Layout: 5.419-kilometer (3.367-mile), 16-turn circuit
Weather: Clear
Air Temps: 31.6 degrees Celsius (88.8 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
Team Result: Nico Hulkenberg qualified 15th, Kevin Magnussen qualified 19th 


Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 7th overall (1:28.171), 22 laps completed
Magnussen: 20th overall (1:29.502), 26 laps completed
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:27.428)


Q1 Qualifying: 18-mins with all 20 Drivers – Top 15 Advance to Q2

Hulkenberg: 10th overall (1:25.904) – Advanced to Q2
 19th overall (1:27.046)
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:25.007)


Q2 Qualifying: 15-mins – Top 10 Advance to Q3

Hulkenberg: 15th overall (1:25.783)
Fastest: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:24.381) 


Q3 Qualifying: 12-mins – Top 10 Drivers

 Pole Winner: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:23.778)

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