While Magnussen was able to advance to the penultimate round of knockout qualifying, Grosjean was unable to turn any laps. His car experienced a power unit problem as he drove down the pit lane, whereupon crewmembers had to retrieve his stricken machine and bring him back to the garage as qualifying began.
Magnussen carried the flag for Haas F1 Team by earning the ninth-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:12.680 around the 4.361-kilometer (2.710-mile), 14-turn track, easily joining the top-15 drivers who moved on to Q2. There, he set the 11th-fastest time with a lap of 1:12.606, just missing the top-10 cutoff to advance to Q3. Magnussen ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Pink hypersoft tire throughout qualifying.
Before qualifying, drivers had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track. Both Magnussen and Grosjean began the session on the Purple ultrasoft tire before switching to the Pink hypersoft tire - the grippiest and fastest tire in Pirelli's lineup.
Grosjean ran 16 laps and set the ninth-fastest time with a 1:13.014 on his final tour. Magnussen tallied 21 laps and earned his best time on his 16th lap - a 1:13.488 that put him 17th overall. Each driver earned their quick times with hypersofts outfitted on their Haas VF-18s.
Romain Grosjean: "Something went wrong. Maybe the beaver from yesterday was still in there somewhere. Seriously though, we laugh about it as it's been a terrible series of luck since the first race of the season. We've had some really tough luck. Anyway, the feeling in the car was really good since FP1. I was very happy with the upgrade. Kevin was improving and getting better in qualifying, which is great for the team. Starting last is never ideal, but it's one of those racetracks where you can overtake, so luckily it's not Monaco. I think everyone starting on hypersofts is going to suffer from the degradation, especially if it's warm. We're going to try something different. There are a lot of cars to get around. A good safety car, some luck at a good time, and we could be up there."
Kevin Magnussen: "We brought an upgrade here and we hoped that would improve the car, and it looks like it has. This kind of track - we knew it was going to be difficult here. We put this upgrade on and, of course, it's difficult to see as we're not as quick as we were in Barcelona, where we were dominating that midfield. I think without the upgrade we'd have been a lot worse here. Low speed tracks are our weak point, but I'm happy that, so far, we've been able to limit the damage. I think we can attack tomorrow. Our race pace, if anything, is better than our qualifying pace, and we're starting with a free choice of tire in P11 - that's probably a better position to be in than P10 and P9. We're going to fight."
Guenther Steiner: "I think we cannot get rid of being unlucky, as much as we don't believe in it. With Romain, we were finding a good speed in the car, then we had an issue with the power unit, so that was his day done. I think Kevin stepped up pretty good from FP3. He got a little more confident with the car and put it P11. All in all, that's not a bad starting spot for tomorrow."