Haas F1 Team Qatar Grand Prix Sprint Recap

Zak Mauger / LAT Images LOSAIL INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT, QATAR – OCTOBER 07: Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, leads Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43 during the Qatar GP at Losail International Circuit on Saturday October 07, 2023 in Losail, Qatar. (Photo by Zak Mauger / LAT Images)

Event: Sprint Race at the Qatar Grand Prix – Saturday October 7

Location: Lusail International Circuit, Doha

Layout: 5.419-kilometer (3.367-mile), 16-turn circuit

Weather: Clear

Air Temps: 31.7 degrees Celsius (89 degrees Fahrenheit)

Track Temps: 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit)

Team Result: 

Kevin Magnussen – Started Sprint 19th / Finished 14th (Running – completed 19/19 laps)

Nico Hulkenberg – Started Sprint 7th / DNF (Retired – completed 11/19 laps)

SQ1 Shootout: 12-mins with all 20 Drivers – Top 15 Advance to SQ2

Hulkenberg: 14th overall (1:26.450) – Advanced to SQ2

Magnussen: 19th overall (1:27.438) 

Fastest: George Russell of Mercedes (1:25.413)

SQ2 Shootout: 10-mins – Top 10 Advance to SQ3

Hulkenberg: 9th overall (1:25.499) – Advanced to SQ3

Fastest: Lando Norris of McLaren (1:24.947) 

SQ3 Shootout: 8-mins – Top 10 Drivers

Hulkenberg: 7th overall (1:25.320)

Sprint Pole: Oscar Piastri of McLaren (1:24.454)

Sprint Race Rundown: 

Magnussen: 14th overall 

Hulkenberg: DNF (Retired)

Sprint Winner: Oscar Piastri of McLaren

Sprint Race Recap:

MoneyGram Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen finished Saturday’s 19-lap Qatar Grand Prix Sprint in 14th place while teammate Nico Hulkenberg was forced to retire to the garage having been the innocent party in a 3-car incident at the Lusail International Circuit.

Earlier in the day Hulkenberg led the charge steering his VF-23 all the way to P7 on the grid after a barnstorming Sprint Shootout – the German powering into the Top-10 and delivering an SQ3 lap of 1:25.320. Magnussen was out after SQ1 in P19 – the Dane losing his fastest lap time for a track limits violation. Oscar Piastri headed a McLaren 1-2 at the end of the Shootout action, the rookie beating teammate Lando Norris to claim pole for the Sprint. 

The early stages of the evening’s Sprint race were disrupted by two Safety Car periods – both for stranded cars, the first being the beached AlphaTauri of Liam Lawson, the second for Logan Sargeant’s stricken Williams. The action remained relatively static in the mid-field once racing resumed with Hulkenberg, who started on Pirelli P Zero Yellow mediums, just sitting outside the points in P9 and Magnussen running P16.

Hulkenberg’s night would come to a dramatic halt however having been sandwiched between the battling cars of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez as the pair clashed and took all three off-track at Turn 2. Hulkenberg’s VF-23 ultimately sustained terminal damage and was forced to retire in the garage on lap 12. The ensuing Safety Car period, the third of the race, allowed Magnussen to pit – swapping his starting medium tires for a set of the softer Reds. Magnussen ran P15 before climbing a spot to take P14 at the checkered flag.

Piastri converted his pole position into Sprint victory ahead of Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Lando Norris.

Kevin Magnussen:

“I think we took a chance during the third Safety Car to stop for a set of soft tires, which was a good choice actually. They had a lot more grip and I was happy, looking forward to it, and two other cars in front of me did it. I wasn’t too worried about that as I could feel the grip and thought they’re going to move up and I’ll go with them, but they didn’t, and I had to fight and overtake them. I got stuck there, but we gave it a go and the fact we got to overtake people, I’ll take that.”

Nico Hulkenberg:

“It was a pity as on the medium tire, I think the race would’ve come to us. As you could see towards the end, all the soft runners were very ambitious and struggling a lot, and we were in a good position. Ocon was starting to struggle and that’s how I was able to attack him. Perez was coming from the back and was so quick, and somehow got in the mix and I saw him really late as I was focused on Ocon, and Ocon probably didn’t know or couldn’t see that I had a car on my other side and there was no more room. It’s bad for us as today was the day where we could’ve scored something and I’m very disappointed with that, today was the opportunity.”

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal:

“Nico had a very good day until he ended up in a sandwich between two desperate guys. None of it was his fault, between the two of them, what can you do. Everyone was fighting and Nico ended up in the middle. We were in a good way as we were on the medium tires, we could’ve scored some points today. Unfortunately, lady luck is not with us.”

Next Up:

Sunday October 8 – The 57-lap Qatar Grand Prix starts at 20:00 (Local).

Haas F1 Team PR

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