Kevin Magnussen felt that eighth place on the grid for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix was the best he could have achieved, McLaren enduring another tricky qualifying session that saw just one car making Q3.
The Dane was McLaren’s best representative in the competitive qualifying session around the streets of Monte Carlo on Saturday by making it into the top 10 Q3 shoot-out, a feat his team-mate Jenson Button could not achieve on his way to 12th on the grid.
Magnussen fought his way to eighth place in the final part of qualifying to share row four with Jean-Eric Vergne‘s Toro Rosso having finished in that spot in all three phases of the session – a position he felt was the best achievable for the struggling former champions.
“I’m not completely happy to be starting eighth, but we pretty much got the best out of what we had; maybe seventh would have been possible – at a push”, said Magnussen.
“It’s always a challenge to hook up the perfect lap around here – and it never really feel like you succeed. This is a street circuit, and it’s bumpy, with barriers and walls right at the apex, so you make little mistakes and corrections, and always feel like you could have got a little closer to the barriers.
“Nonetheless, the car felt really good – it’s just frustrating when you see the laptimes, because it feels like we should be higher up. We need a good launch, a good first lap, and to stay out of trouble – then maybe we can score some solid points.”
The McLaren team have won the Monaco Grand Prix a record 15 times in Formula 1 history, last achieving the top step of the podium at the Principality back in 2008.
Racing director Eric Boullier echoed his driver of whom he praised from qualifying, saying: “Getting one car into the top eight was what we were realistically expecting today – and Kevin did a great job to do just that.
“Our focus now turns to tomorrow, and maximising our chances of scoring points with both cars. Both drivers have shown great consistency and pace all weekend, and they’re both capable of mopping up places tomorrow. It’ll be a long and eventful race.”