Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean earned strong starting positions for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix by advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying Saturday at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya. The duo qualified seventh and 10th, respectively, as the American squad placed both its drivers into Q3 for only the third time in team history but second time this year.
The last time Haas F1 Team saw both its pilots fight through the final round of qualifying was at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix where Magnussen qualified sixth and Grosjean was right behind in seventh. The Spanish Grand Prix is the fifth race of 2018 and just the 46th race for Haas F1 Team since its debut in the 2016 Australian Grand Prix.
Magnussen set the seventh-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:18.169 around the 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn track. Grosjean was ninth quickest with a lap of 1:18.305. Only the top-15 drivers move on to Q2.
In Q2, Magnussen earned the sixth-fastest time with a lap of 1:17.618 and Grosjean was eighth with a lap of 1:17.699, allowing each driver to make the top-10 cutoff and advance to Q3.
Q3 featured the heavy hitters of Formula One, with four-time and reigning champion Mercedes, 16-time champion Scuderia Ferrari and four-time champion Red Bull all represented. Haas F1 Team held its own among these giants, with Magnussen qualifying a best-of-the-rest seventh with a lap of 1:17.676 and Grosjean taking 10th with a lap of 1:17.835.
Magnussen and Grosjean used the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire in Q1 and then switched to the Yellow soft tire for Q2. They returned to supersofts in Q3, with the softest tire made available by Pirelli for the Spanish Grand Prix affording the most grip. Per the sporting regulations, both drivers will start the race on softs, as that is the compound they used to set their quick times in Q2.
Taking the pole for the Spanish Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. His fast lap of 1:16.173 set a new all-time track record at Barcelona and was a scant .04 of a second better than runner-up and teammate, Valtteri Bottas. It was Hamilton’s 74th career Formula One pole, his second this season and his fourth at Barcelona, which includes a run of three straight.
Before Magnussen, Grosjean and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. To emulate qualifying, both drivers ran exclusively on supersofts.
Magnussen ran 15 laps and set the sixth-fastest time with a 1:18.357 on his 13th tour. Grosjean tallied 16 laps and earned his best time on his 14th lap – a 1:18.706 that put him directly behind his teammate in seventh.
The top of FP3 was a prelude to qualifying. Hamilton led the way with a lap of 1:17.291, eclipsing next-best Bottas by .013 of a second.