SAO PAULO — Kevin Magnussen shocked System One in Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying by incomes pole place for the dash race at Interlagos on Friday.
It was the primary pole after 142 races for the Danish driver, who celebrated by making faces on the cameras earlier than the third qualifying session was over. Then he jumped on his automotive and punched the air within the drizzle. He gave his Haas crew boss Guenther Steiner an emotional hug.
“The crew put me out on observe precisely on the proper second,” an exultant Magnussen mentioned.
Requested whether or not he anticipated to earn pole, he replied: “Not even shut. It’s unbelievable.”
Magnussen began in F1 in 2014 and returned to the sequence this yr after a one-year absence because the alternative for Russian driver Nikita Mazepin.
On crew radio, Magnussen was much more excited: “I by no means felt like this in my life,” he mentioned. Minutes earlier than, when he was advised he was in first place, he replied: “You are kidding.”
In the meantime, Haas teammate Mick Schumacher, who remains to be searching for a seat for the subsequent season, completed not surprisingly in twentieth and final place.
Steiner mentioned on Thursday he has but to determine whether or not Schumacher will race for the crew subsequent yr, including he hopes a choice might be made subsequent week. Schumacher has earned solely 12 factors this season. Magnussen has a paltry 24.
Magnussen was nearly 5 seconds quicker than Schumacher. World champion Max Verstappen was second by nearly two-tenths of a second. Mercedes’ George Russell was third.
Qualifying was delayed by rain, which helped Magnussen. The final 5 minutes of the session had been severely affected by the moist observe.
Haas spoke about Magnussen’s pole place with a contact of disbelief: “What did we simply do?” the crew posed on Twitter. “That was a Viking efficiency!”
Friday’s outcomes set the grid for Saturday’s dash race, which is able to decide the beginning positions for Sunday’s race at Interlagos.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who will begin the dash in fifth place, could have a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race. The Spaniard has added a brand new inner combustion engine for the weekend, a penalty-inducing sixth of the season.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who remains to be preventing to safe the runner-up place within the drivers’ championship, was first throughout free follow earlier on Friday. He had a design on his helmet in collaboration with Disney.
“It’s for the Black Panther film, a film that represents quite a lot of my nation,” the Mexican driver mentioned. “The helmet itself is exclusive and I actually prefer it.”
Perez will begin the dash, which is predicted to go below rain once more, in ninth place.