Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen qualified 12th and 14th, respectively, for the Brazilian Grand Prix Sunday at Autódromo José Carlos Pace in São Paulo. It was the fifth time this season both drivers advanced to the second round of knockout qualifying. And because of a 10-place grid penalty incurred by fifth-place qualifier Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull, Grosjean will start 11th and Magnussen will start 13th.
Grosjean set the ninth-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:10.148 around the 4.309-kilometer (2.677-mile), 15-turn circuit. Magnussen was 14th quickest with a lap of 1:10.521. Only the top-15 drivers advance to Q2.
In Q2, Grosjean earned the 12th-fastest time with a lap of 1:09.879 and Magnussen secured the 14th-fastest mark with a lap of 1:10.154. Only the top-10 drivers from Q2 move on to Q3.
Both Magnussen and Grosjean ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire throughout qualifying.
Taking the pole for the Brazilian Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas. His fast lap of 1:08.322 was .038 of a second better than runner-up Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari and it set a new all-time fastest lap at Interlagos. It was Bottas’ third career Formula One pole – all of which have come this season – and his first at Interlagos.
Before Grosjean, Magnussen and the rest of their Formula One counterparts participated in knockout qualifying, they had one final practice (FP3) to dial in their racecars for a quick lap around the track.
Magnussen made 19 laps and set the 13th-fastest time with a 1:10.721 on his 16th lap. Grosjean tallied 20 laps and earned his best time on his final tour – a 1:10.762 that put him 15th overall.
Magnussen made two installation laps on the White medium tire before switching to the Red supersoft for the remainder of the session. Grosjean sampled all three of the Pirelli compounds, with installation laps on White mediums followed by nine laps on Yellow softs and a final, nine-lap run on Red supersofts.
Quickest in FP3 was Bottas, whose fast lap of 1:09.281 was just .003 of a second better than his teammate and next quickest challenger, Lewis Hamilton.
“I think Romain got the most out of the car today. He did a good job with the car we have this weekend. I did less of a good job in qualifying. When the car is like it is – unstable in the rear – Romain is just very strong. I struggle a bit more with that. I’m not too unhappy with the result today because the car hasn’t been to my driving style this weekend. We’ll see what happens in the race. The race pace didn’t look any worse than our qualifying pace, so with some luck tomorrow, we could be up for some more points. That’s what we’re aiming for.”