Kevin Magnussen: “We had feared this weekend would be tough”

Credit: Sam Bloxham/LAT Images

Kevin Magnussen was cleared by the FIA medical delegate to continue driving on Saturday morning, but the Haas F1 Team racer ended up Qualifying for the Mexican Grand Prix down in eighteenth position, ahead only of team-mate Romain Grosjean and Pierre Gasly, who failed to set a time in the session.

The Haas F1 Team has struggled all weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, and the high altitude is having a severe negative effect on the VF17, which has left them vulnerable, with both of the Sauber F1 Team drivers managing to get ahead of Magnussen despite running with a year-old Ferrari engine.

“We had feared this weekend would be tough,” said Magnussen. “We obviously weren’t very quick in qualifying.

“This track is like our Achilles’ heel. It was kind of expected, but it’s still disappointing. We just have to push on. The issues are a combination of things. I’d say with the air being so thin here, everyone has to cool their cars a lot more, open up their cooling on the brakes, engine, water, everything.

“When we do that, we don’t have a very good top cooling when it’s open. We lose out there, and it seems very bad this time.

“Hopefully we can stay in the fight tomorrow, and at least push and see what we can get. I hope our race pace is a bit better than our qualifying pace.”