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Emilia Romagna Grand Prix: Qualifying team notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
18/05/2024

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen qualified 10th and 18th respectively for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Round 7 of the 2024 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

Hulkenberg, competing at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari for the first time in his career, kept his VF-24 locked inside the top 10 throughout all sessions on Saturday. P10 after final practice, the German carried that speed into qualifying and delivered a barnstorming final lap on his Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires in Q1 - a 1:15.841 sealing P3 at the checkered. Q2 brought more performance with two runs on fresh softs, a best effort of 1:15.569 good for P7 and graduation into Q3. An early stint on used softs delivered a 1:16.308 in Q3 before Hulkenberg bettered that with a 1:15.980 on new softs to take P10 and a fifth-row grid slot.

Magnussen had declared himself confident in the direction he was taking his VF-24 after final practice but unfortunately for the Dane, traffic on his final Q1 run, and in particular the McLaren of Oscar Piastri, impeded his shot at a hot lap. A 1:16.854, set on his first set of softs, placed Magnussen P18 and out of qualifying.

Nico Hulkenberg: "It's definitely good to be inside the top 10 again. I'm not entirely happy with Q3 on the final lap unfortunately but it is pretty nip and tuck over a quali lap here in Imola. I enjoyed it so we'll take this today and we'll obviously try to defend that position tomorrow. Yesterday, our long-run data looked okay and I think we saw that all the midfield teams are very close together. Racing could be quite static, hence qualifying today and track position is all the more important here."

Kevin Magnussen: "I don't know what's going on this year, but it keeps happening and eventually it's got to stop. We don't seem to be doing anything different compared to others in terms of timings, but out of seven qualifying sessions, we've had traffic in five that's caused us problems on exactly the lap that needs to count. It's not an easy track to overtake and it looks like a one-stop race, so we'll see what happens."

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal: "There are mixed feelings really because Kevin had potential. His feelings from FP3 were good, his first run in FP1 was good, and he felt he had a decent chunk of lap time in hand - which I believe. On his lap last, I don't know what the McLaren was doing in the middle of the track, on their out lap which was going to be too late for a timed lap. It's very annoying in the sense, because he shouldn't have been there to start off with and it destroyed Kevin's qualifying.

"On the flipside, Nico had two very good laps, his Q1 run two and Q2 run two, they were both very clean laps. It's very difficult here to put a lap together but it was mega. We outqualified both Aston Martins and it's slightly annoying that both RBs are in front but you can see they've been developing their car and they've been quick from the start of the weekend. Ultimately, Nico got everything out of it, so it was very good to get into Q3. It shows that our development, although not fully analyzed, is working because everyone else is developing and we're still getting into Q3. Tomorrow we will fight for points."

Check out our Saturday gallery from Imola here.

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