Singapore Grand Prix: Qualifying RecapSeptember 16, 2023
For the first time this season MoneyGram Haas F1 Team delivered both its cars into the top-10 in qualifying as Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg powered their way to 6th and 9th respectively under the lights around the Marina Bay Street Circuit ahead of Sunday’s 62-lap Singapore Grand Prix
Both VF-23s showed a turn of pace in knockout qualifying on Saturday night – each car locked firmly into the top-10 throughout each of the three sessions. There was early promise with Hulkenberg progressing from Q1 into Q2 with a best lap of 1:32.100 (P3) on his second set of fresh Pirelli P Zero Red softs while Magnussen advanced with a 1:32.242 (P5) – also on set two.
It was the Dane who led the way in Q2 lapping the revised 4.940-kilometer (3.069-mile), 19-turn circuit with a fastest lap of 1:31.892 booking his place in Q3 fourth fastest on the timesheet. Hulkenberg claimed sixth with his quick lap of 1:31.994 ensuring MoneyGram Haas F1 Team placed both its cars inside the top-10 in Q3 for the first time in 2023.
Magnussen clocked an impressive lap of 1:31.575 in final qualifying to place P6 at the checkered while Hulkenberg banked a 1:31.808 lap to secure P9 for the German – both running new sets of soft rubber.
Scuderia Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz secured pole position with a 1:30.984 beating out the Mercedes of George Russell to the top spot.
“First of all, for whatever reason, the car is stronger on this track. We’ve done a good job and capitalized on the good form of the car, got both cars into Q3 and we start from a good position tomorrow. We know it’s hard to overtake here, I would love to still have the little twisty corners in sector three now that I’m here because we know our race pace isn’t quite there to stay where we are, but maybe on this track there’s a chance. That comes with a little extra pressure as you know it’s a bit of a one-off chance and we really want to grab it and score some points tomorrow.”
“It’s a very strong result for the team to have both cars in Q3. I don’t think we expected that so that’s a pleasant surprise and we’ll enjoy this today, regardless of what happens tomorrow. It was a really strong performance by Kevin, he was on it all of qualifying, so I really had to give it everything and didn’t get it quite connected and clean on my side, but that’s how it is sometimes. We’ve always been strong in qualifying, the low-speed favors us too. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:
“It’s been a pretty good day for us today, for the whole team. We know that we’re struggling but it shows again that we keep working hard and then get something out of it. Whatever is there to get, today we showed we got it – between the drivers, mechanics, and engineers, everybody did the maximum and it’s our first double Q3 this year. Obviously, it’s a happy moment. We now need to try and get something from tomorrow. Hopefully we can get the tires to work with us, but for sure we will be working hard to make it happen.”
Event: Qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix – Saturday September 16
Location: Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore
Layout: 4.940-kilometer (3.069-mile), 19-turn circuit
Air Temps: 29.5 degrees Celsius (85.1 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
Team Result: Kevin Magnussen qualified 6th, Nico Hulkenberg qualified 9th
Free Practice 3 (FP3) Rundown:
Hulkenberg: 9th overall (1:32.896), 18 laps completed
Magnussen: 11th overall (1:32.970), 16 laps completed
Fastest: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari (1:32.065)
Q1 Qualifying: 18-mins with all 20 Drivers – Top 15 Advance to Q2
Hulkenberg: 3rd overall (1:32.100) – Advanced to Q2
Magnussen: 5th overall (1:32.242) – Advanced to Q2
Fastest: Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri (1:31.991)
Q2 Qualifying: 15-mins – Top 10 Advance to Q3
Magnussen: 4th overall (1:31.892) – Advanced to Q3
Hulkenberg: 6th overall (1:31.994) – Advanced to Q3
Fastest: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari (1:31.439)
Q3 Qualifying: 12-mins – Top 10 Drivers
Magnussen: 6th overall (1:31.575)
Hulkenberg: 9th overall (1:31.808)
Pole Winner: Carlos Sainz of Scuderia Ferrari (1:30.984)