Haas F1 Team Azerbaijan Grand Prix Qualifying Recap

Simon Galloway / LAT Images

Event: Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix – Friday April 28

Location: Baku City Circuit, Baku

Layout: 6.003-kilometer (3.730-mile), 20-turn circuit

Weather: Sunny

Air Temps: 19.6 degrees Celsius (67.3 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps: 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit)

Team Result: Nico Hulkenberg qualified 17th, Kevin Magnussen qualified 18th 

Free Practice 1 (FP1) Rundown:

Hulkenberg: 15th overall (1:44.323), 21 laps completed

Magnussen: 20th overall (1:47.498), 8 laps completed

Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:42.315)

Q1 Qualifying: 18-mins with all 20 Drivers – Top 15 Advance to Q2

Hulkenberg: 17th overall (1:42.755) 

Magnussen: 18th overall (1:43.417) 

Fastest: Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari (1:41.269)

Q2 Qualifying: 15-mins – Top 10 Advance to Q3

Fastest: Max Verstappen of Red Bull Racing (1:40.822) 

Q3 Qualifying: 12-mins – Top 10 Drivers

Pole Winner: Charles Leclerc of Scuderia Ferrari (1:40.203)

Qualifying Recap:

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen qualified 17th and 18th respectively for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Round 4 of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship. 

The opening day of track running began with Free Practice 1 – the only practice session of the Sprint weekend. Hulkenberg and Magnussen started on the Pirelli P Zero White hard compound, each completing eight laps before a red flag for a stricken – and on-fire – Alpine of Pierre Gasly. Simultaneously, Magnussen stopped at the run-off area of Turn 1 due to a fuel pressure issue, putting an end to the Dane’s session. Hulkenberg was able to complete his run plan, sampling the Yellow medium tire before a final stint on a set of Red softs, classifying P15.

Hulkenberg and Magnussen began the opening session of qualifying with a new set of soft tires, setting fastest laps of 1:43.010 and 1:43.417 respectively, on their second timed run. A red flag halted the session after AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries crashed on the outside of Turn 3. 

When the session resumed, only three minutes passed before another red flag was brought out, this time after the Alpine of Pierre Gasly made contact with the barriers at Turn 3, consequently needing repair.

For a third time in Q1 cars were back out on track, but Magnussen was unable to bank another timed lap after a recurring electrical issue ended his qualifying prematurely. Hulkenberg was able to improve, with a lap time of 1:42.755 but unfortunately that wasn’t enough for the German to proceed to Q2. Qualifying ended for the pair with Nico Hulkenberg classifying P17, with team-mate Kevin Magnussen behind in P18.

Out front, Charles Leclerc and Ferrari scored their maiden pole position of the season for Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix, ahead of the Red Bull Racing duo of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez. 

Kevin Magnussen:

“It’s frustrating to be out with an issue but what can we do? We don’t know if it was an assembly issue or just something else out of our hands. It was just cutting out and miss-firing, so I didn’t have much power down the straights – which showed on the lap time. It’s extra frustrating as I feel the lap time we did do with that electrical issue on my first run showed that we had some pace. It just didn’t happen today for us. Our time will come, it just hasn’t been too good so far. Not what we wanted but there’s still a long weekend ahead.”

Nico Hulkenberg:

“It was quite an interrupted Q1 with two red flags and obviously it was quite tricky to get into a rhythm, especially with the limited practice time we had today. We didn’t find the best rhythm I feel and laps weren’t as clean as I wanted them to be, so I think we left something out there and Q2 should’ve been possible. Pace-wise from the little running looked to be a bit more difficult for us this weekend, so we need to dig deep into the data and see what we can find. We have a bit of different procedure tomorrow but I’m looking forward to it, hopefully doing a better job and coming out with a better position as well.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:

“Not an ideal day today. Kevin had problems the whole day in FP1 and in qualifying with issues between the fuel pump and some electronics issue, so it’s difficult to comment what would’ve been possible. With Nico, his attempt on his second set of tires was not perfect, there wasn’t a clean lap in it, and he clearly said it could’ve been a lot better. This is a long weekend of racing, there’s another qualifying tomorrow morning, for the Sprint, and two races over the weekend, so we just have to regroup and see that we get something more out of tomorrow.”

Next Up:

Saturday April 29 – Sprint Shootout runs at 12:30 local time before the 17-lap 100km Sprint race 17:30-18:00.

Haas F1 Team PR

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