Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher qualified seventh and eighth respectively for Saturday’s 24-lap Sprint race – the result of which will then determine the grid for Sunday’s 71-lap Austrian Grand Prix, Round 11 of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship hosted at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg.
A top-ten performance looked on the cards early as both VF-22’s finished FP1 in a strong sixth (MAG) and ninth (MSC) – the one-hour practice session the only opportunity ahead of qualifying to get to grips with the 4.318-kilometer (2.683-mile), 10-turn circuit.
Q1 saw both Magnussen and Schumacher progress into Q2 comfortably – Magnussen setting a fastest lap of 1:06.366 (P9) on his second set of Pirelli P Zero Red soft tires, while Schumacher posted a best time of 1:06.405 (P10) on his first set. Q2 once again witnessed both drivers advancing into the next stage of qualifying. A 1:05.894 on his second timed run saw Magnussen through to Q3 in P7. Schumacher clocked a best of 1:06.151 on his first run for P10.
Q3 proved scrappy with two red flag stops – both caused by the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. While Schumacher had his initial Q3 run of 1:06.662 deleted for exceeding track limits – his next flying lap on new softs was a 1:06.011 to place the German P8 at the checkered flag. Magnussen went one better by claiming P7 on the soft rubber with the Dane charging to a 1:05.879 lap.
Fittingly for the Red Bull Ring, it was Max Verstappen who claimed pole for Red Bull Racing with a hot lap of 1:04.984.
“It’s been a good Friday. We got the car on track for the first run in FP1 and it looked competitive. I was pretty confident going into qualifying and it’s been a strong day. I don’t even feel like we got the most out of it, it felt like there was a little more lap time in it. It’s funny as I’m P7 and I’m not super happy, so that’s a very good position to be in.”
“We came quite close with that Q3 cut-off, so we were lucky there as we didn’t quite maximize the lap but otherwise it was ok, but not the cleanest of sessions. Trying to push the tires to get them warmed up again is never great, you’re already taking some potential out of them and I think there was definitely more lap time in it. If we hold position tomorrow, we have points and if we move forward, we gain even more so we’ll go for the more points option hopefully.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal, Haas F1 Team
“It was a very good day today. We started strong in FP1, everything was calm and we had no issues. Then we went into qualifying knowing that we can make it into Q3 on performance and we executed it. It was a good job by the whole team, and hopefully we can take it over to tomorrow’s Sprint, keep on getting points and continuing like last week.”