Magnussen pole 'well deserved', not just luck - Steiner

Pole position for Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas with Guenther Steiner (ITA) Haas F1 Team Principal. 11.11.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Qualifying
© XPB 

Haas F1 team principal Guenther Steiner insisted that Kevin Magnussen's maiden pole position with the team was full deserved, and not just a case of being lucky with the inclement conditions in Interlagos.

Heading into his 100th race weekend with Haas, Magnussen had been a solid seventh in both of the first two rounds of qualifying for tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race.

But he pulled out a perfect lap with his first run in Q3 that other drivers simply couldn't match, leaving him in provisional pole by two tenths ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

A red flag for George Russell beaching his Mercedes in the gravel meant a delay in the session that allowed the rain to build up, leaving the track to wet for any more laps on the slick tyres - meaning Magnussen's time couldn't be beaten.

But Steiner waved off suggestions that the Dane had simply got lucky with the red flag and rain

"I think it was not luck," he told Sky Sports F1. "It was well deserved, from the driver, from the team being on the right tyres at the right time, Kevin putting a lap down when it was needed.

"He was first out there," he pointed out. "You can say, yeah, he had an advantage. But a disadvantage [too] - he had nobody to gauge with. He was on his own. He put a lap down, and it stuck.

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team 11.11.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 21, Brazilian Grand Prix, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Qualifying

"You need to go out there," he pointed out. “When it rains soup, you need to have a spoon - and we had a spoon ready today.

“We just can do what we can do,” Steiner said. “I think the other cars that are only ten, 15, 20 seconds behind us [on track] but they couldn’t do what he did."

He added that Magnussen had managed to put “just a perfect lap down" n the conditions. “A credit to him, he was given the opportunity and he took it.

“He deserves a lot, the whole team deserves it," he said. “We always work hard. We never give up, we keep on fighting!"

Not only is this a maiden pole for Magnussen, it's also the first pole that the team has claimed since their arrival on the F1 grid in 2016.

Steiner said that it “rated number one” among his career highlights and admitted that he had been “scared to dream” it would ever happen.

“We are trying hard, the whole team has been trying hard for seven years," he said. "And then circumstances let us pull this one off.

"You will always have naysayers. But welcome to our pole position, naysayers!”

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