Magnussen escapes penalty to keep ‘lucky’ P4
Kevin Magnussen says his fourth place on the grid for the Miami Grand Prix is lucky after escaping a penalty for an incident with Lewis Hamilton.
In Q1, Hamilton touched the wall at Turn 17 as he avoided running into the back of Magnussen, who was going very slowly before starting a flying lap. Both drivers agreed the closing speed had caught Hamilton out but that as he was on an in-lap he wasn’t impeded, and Magnussen had a car ahead that led to him going slowly, so no further action was taken.
That confirmed fourth on the grid for Magnussen, who had put in a good first Q3 lap and then seen mistakes from Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc leave them behind him, as a Leclerc crash ended the session early.
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“Me and Lewis were both on a slow lap,” Magnussen said. “I was starting another lap. He was pitting, so I don’t quite understand what happened. I think he was a little bit under pressure timewise to get in to start this second run. So he was rushing in and I was starting a new lap.
“It feels good. You know, it’s an important race for us. Home race for the team, all our big sponsors are here this weekend. And this is a race we hope goes well – it’s one of those.
“I got a bit lucky. But I don’t feel bad about it.”
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Magnussen also believes the new floor that Haas brought to Miami has helped the team be more competitive through all sessions.
“I think this weekend, we’ve just been strong consistently. Not only in terms of putting in lap times — if you look at the results from each session, it’s so good. But just the feeling was there from the very beginning. We put the car on track and it worked. We haven’t really touched it — a little bit tweaked — and I think that’s been really good. And then we brought an upgrade that worked, so yeah, happy P4 tomorrow, and hopefully we can finish it off and score some points.
“We put an upgrade on the car. We’ve got a new floor this weekend. That seems to have really helped. You know, track-specific. I think our car works a little bit better here and we got a bit lucky.”
The Dane would also welcome some wet weather to try and hold onto a big result on Sunday, with the likes of Leclerc, Verstappen, Hamilton and George Russell starting behind him.
“That could spice things up — I think I’d welcome that,” he said of the chance of inclement weather. “Of course, it’s always a little less wanted when you’re starting up front, but still, it’s fun if it rains. I don’t think we’re fourth fastest but it’s nice to finish (qualifying) a little further up than you have the speed (for), so you can just nicely fall back into your natural position and finish it off like that.”
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