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Kevin Magnussen

Magnussen reckons even more was possible in 'rollercoaster' qualifying

Haas' Kevin Magnussen reckons the hydraulic issue that compromised his qualifying in Bahrain prevented him from challenging for an even higher grid slot than his eventual seventh place.

Magnussen Bahrein
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To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Kevin Magnussen's first weekend back in Formula 1 has played out like a dream so far, with the Dane qualifying in seventh place on his return.

After the Haas team went through two full seasons of shoring up the back of the grid, Magnussen's comeback has coincided with a return to form for the American-led team, and Magnussen duly capitalised on the VF-22's pace to qualify in the top 10 in Bahrain.

This was despite a hydraulic issue cropping up on his car during qualifying, resulting in just one qualifying run in both the Q2 and Q3 sessions.

"We had a suspicion that it might be quite good," Magnussen told media, including RacingNews365.com, after the session.

"Then qualifying was another whole rollercoaster in itself, with the problems we had, and then not being able to run more than one set [of tyres] in Q2 and Q3.

"[We did] not even know if we could get out again in Q3, so getting P7 for tomorrow's race, after all that, is really cool."

What was the problem that hampered Magnussen's qualifying?

With Magnussen having to baby his car due to the hydraulic issue, he explained that he had to sit in the garage and watch on for the second half of the Q2 session – a nightmare scenario as he couldn't get on track to respond to other drivers' laps.

"It was a hydraulic leak that we discovered; [the mechanics] did a fix, but they only just managed to get it done for the last run [in Q3]," said Magnussen.

"We discovered it after the first run in Q2, and we weren't able to go out again.

"I was sitting there in the car, while they were fixing it, hoping that no one would improve too much.

"We went through into Q3, and then [I was] still hoping that they would get it fixed in time for just one lap in Q3 at the end, which they did!"

Magnussen could have gone quicker, concerned about reliability

Despite qualifying in a steller seventh place, Magnussen believes that his ultimate fastest lap could have been even better had he not been compromised by the issue.

"I was having to stay in one gear, in fourth gear, for the whole of the out lap," he commented.

"I wasn't able to go quick on the out lap and get my tyres right, so I was compromised in a few places, but it's still P7, so we're super happy.

"We did a 1:31.4 in Q2 in the first run, and we didn't get two runs in Q2, so you would think that there could be a little more in it."

As for the race, Magnussen reckons a strong points finish is on the cards.

"Reliability is certainly the biggest concern going into tomorrow's race," added the F1 returnee.

"It's not so much pace, or balance, tyre wear or strategy, it's more just getting to the end. And, if we get to the end, I'm sure we will be able to finish in a strong position."

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Ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Mike Seymour and Thomas Maher preview the 2022 season.

F1 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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