Kevin Magnussen says it was a usual Saturday for the Haas F1 Team at the Bahrain International Circuit, with neither he nor team-mate Romain Grosjean able to escape Q1 in Qualifying.
The Dane says that with the car they have, it was not a bad performance from the team, but the pace deficit to their rivals was insurmountable and meant that he qualified a lowly eighteenth, ahead only of Grosjean and Williams Racing’s Nicholas Latifi.
Magnussen says it will be important for the team to take advantage of any situation that may present itself on Sunday if they are to make gains, with the Dane eager to end his tenure with Haas with a points finish across the final three races.
“It’s not been an unusual Saturday,” said Magnussen. “Unfortunately, this is where we are – I don’t think we had a bad qualifying in terms of considering the car we have, we got the most out of it. It was a normal Saturday for us.
“There are at least always opportunities in the race, we just have to hope for that again tomorrow. We have to try and capitalize on situations if they come our way – something like a safety car. Fingers crossed that one of those things that we need happens tomorrow in the race.”
Team-mate Grosjean admitted he could not be happy with nineteenth place on the grid, with the Frenchman pushing the car to and sometimes beyond the limit during the session.
“We tried as hard as we could, but you cannot be happy when you’re P19,” said Grosjean. “When you’re a competitor you want to fight for good positions.
“My last lap was actually quite good through the first two sectors. The last one I tried to push a bit more – go the way I enjoy driving the car and have done in the past.
“The car couldn’t quite take it, so I lost a bit of time. It wouldn’t have changed the world but I’m just trying to enjoy these last three races.”
“Not the positions we wanted to start tomorrow’s race from” – Guenther Steiner
Guenther Steiner, the Team Principal at Haas, admits has been a tough period for the team, but they will still look to make gains on Sunday evening during Sunday’s race.
Steiner says it is important to remain positive even though both cars were eliminated in Q1, and if they play it sensible and manage the tyres better than others, opportunities may present themselves to the team.
“Not the positions we wanted to start tomorrow’s race from,” said Steiner. “It’s tough going at the moment, but like always, we’ll try to get the best out of Sunday.
“We always remain positive about it – we know we are a little bit behind this year. We’ll just aim for a good race tomorrow and you never know what might happen.”