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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 8th and 17th respectively for the Spanish Grand Prix, Round 8 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Qualifying kicked off with the threat of rain rated at 30 percent and dark clouds looming above the circuit. Both VF-23s used fresh sets of Pirelli P Zero Red softs to open their accounts, Magnussen banking a time of 1:15.047 and Hulkenberg a 1:14.006, before the lap was deleted for track limits at Turn 5. The session was halted with 14 minutes on the clock when a red flag was brought out for gravel on track that needed clearing. 

As the session resumed, both drivers returned on a used set of softs, Hulkenberg setting a time of 1:14.991 and Magnussen directly behind with a 1:15.005. Improvement came from both drivers on their final flying lap, Hulkenberg setting a fastest time of 1:13.420, enough for P5 and progress into Q2, while teammate Magnussen unfortunately exited the session with a best time of 1:14.042, placing the Dane P17.

Hulkenberg opted to run later in the second session of qualifying, banking a time of 1:14.848 on his first set of new softs. Track evolution played a vital role, and Hulkenberg improved on his second set of softs, setting a fastest lap of 1:13.283, placing him P10 and into Q3 for a third time this season. 

Q3 saw Hulkenberg set only one flying lap during the session – a 1:13.229 – earning P8 on the grid, the German’s best qualifying result with MoneyGram Haas F1 Team. 

Up front, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen scored pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix, courtesy of a charging 1:12.272 lap, ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz and the McLaren of Lando Norris.

Kevin Magnussen, MoneyGram Haas F1 Team

Kevin Magnussen:

“It’s disappointing, the other car showed what’s possible and we haven’t got it right this weekend. With the field being so tight, it’s just a massive penalty when you miss that window. Nico went to the higher downforce set-up and it seems that it’s working well, so a good job done by the team and I’m happy to see the car performing. Unfortunately, it’s P17 for us tomorrow but we’ll try again and hopefully our car set-up is good for the race.”

Nico Hulkenberg:

“That’s our best qualifying of the season so far, clean and well executed by the team and myself. It’s positive and a very decent position to start the race from tomorrow. Track position is pretty valuable here in Barcelona, so we’ll take that and get ready for a tough fight. It’s not going to be an easy race, it’s going to be a tire degradation race with strategy, and we have to play our cards well, but the car has been performing and I feel within the midfield we’re definitely competitive.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:

“We had pretty good speed in qualifying today and it showed that yesterday, it was real. Unfortunately, Kevin didn’t make it into Q2. Nico did a very good job and we got into Q3 again, where we want to be, and now we get prepared for the race tomorrow.”

Today's Data:

Event: Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix – Saturday June 3
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain
Layout: 4.657-kilometer (2.894-mile), 14-turn circuit
Weather: Cloudy
Air Temps: 20.5 degrees Celsius (68.9 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 24 degrees Celsius (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit)
Team Result: Nico Hulkenberg qualified 8th, Kevin Magnussen qualified 17th

Free Practice 3 (FP3) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 14th overall (1:14.988), 12 laps completed
Magnussen: 17th overall (1:15.534), 12 laps completed 
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:13.664)

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

Hulkenberg: 5th overall (1:13.420) – Advanced to Q2
Magnussen: 17th overall (1:14.042) 
Fastest: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:12.937)

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

Hulkenberg: 10th overall (1:13.283) – Advanced to Q3
Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:12.760) 

Q3 Qualifying: 12-mins – Top 10 Drivers

Hulkenberg: 8th overall (1:13.229) 
Pole Winner: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:12.272)

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