Kevin Magnussen has spoken of his disappointment of being pushed out in Q2 at the Suzuka International Racing Course, but that it was “just bad luck”.
The Haas F1 Team driver revealed that the team had hoped for both himself and team-mate Romain Grosjean to progress to the final stage of qualifying, but were unable to.
Part of the reason for this was the changeable weather conditions, but also where Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda driver Pierre Gasly happened to be on track at the time; the Dane qualified twelfth, while his team-mate lines up fifth.
“I didn’t get the lap time on the first run in Q2 on the softs. [Pierre] Gasly came out of the pits as I started my first lap – he didn’t do it on purpose but in sector one its just impossible to get out of the way,” said Magnussen.
“I was driving behind him, lost downforce, then I made a mistake which cost me the lap. It was just bad luck and the nature of the track.”
Magnussen is still looking optimistic ahead of the race.
“I’ll probably start on the soft tomorrow with the free tyre choice. A few people around me won’t, so I think we could have an advantage on them if the supersofts fall apart quickly.
“Perhaps they’ll fall into to traffic when they pit, then I can go along and hopefully get the jump.” he added.