|Event: Qualifying for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix (Round 8 of 20)
Date: Saturday, June 24
Location: Baku City Circuit in Azerbaijan
Layout: 6.003-kilometer (3.730-mile), 20-turn circuit
Air Temps: 26.1-27.5 degrees Celsius (79-81.5 degrees Fahrenheit)
Track Temps: 42.3-53.9 degrees Celsius (108.1-129 degrees Fahrenheit)
Pole Winner: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:40.593 – new track record)
Result: Kevin Magnussen qualified 13th / Romain Grosjean qualified 17th
Note: Magnussen will start 12th and Grosjean 16th due to grid penalties incurred by drivers in front of them
● Lasts 18 minutes, with all 20 drivers participating
● Fastest 15 drivers advance to Q2
Magnussen: 14th quick (1:44.029), advanced to Q2
Grosjean: 17th quick (1:44.468)
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:41.983)
Cutoff: 15th-quick Pascal Wehrlein of Sauber (1:44.317)
● Lasts 15 minutes, featuring the 15 fastest drivers from Q1
● Fastest 10 drivers advance to Q3
Magnussen: 13th quick (1:43.796)
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:41.275)
Cutoff: 10th-quick Esteban Ocon of Force India (1:42.751)
● Lasts 12 minutes, featuring the 10 fastest drivers from Q2, all battling for the pole
Pole Winner: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:40.593)
Second: Valtteri Bottas or Mercedes (1:41.027)
Haas F1 Team drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean qualified 13th and 17th, respectively, for the Azerbaijan Grand Prix Sunday at Baku City Circuit. Magnussen, however, will start 12th due to a three-place grid penalty being served by Carlos Sainz Jr. The Toro Rosso driver qualified 12th but incurred the penalty after causing an accident in the preceding Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. And Grosjean will start 16th due to a 40-place grid penalty being served by Fernando Alonso. The McLaren driver qualified 16th but will start at the rear of the field after having to replace the turbocharger on his car for the seventh time this season while also introducing a new engine.
Magnussen set the 14th-fastest time in Q1 with a lap of 1:44.029 around the 6.003-kilometer (3.730-mile), 20-turn track. Grosjean was 17th quickest with a lap of 1:44.468. Only the top-15 drivers move on to Q2.
In Q2, Magnussen earned the 13th fastest time with a lap of 1:43.796. 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 Azerbaijan Grand Prix was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. His fast lap of 1:40.593 set a new track qualifying record and was .434 of a second better than runner-up and teammate Valtteri Bottas. It was Hamilton’s 66th career Formula One pole, breaking the record previously held by the legendary Ayrton Senna for the second-most poles in Formula One history. Only Michael Schumacher has more poles with 68. This was also Hamilton’s fifth pole this season, his second straight and his first at Baku City Circuit.
Before Magnussen, Grosjean 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. Both drivers ran identical programs during the 60-minute session, with a double installation lap on White medium tires before switching over to Red supersofts in an effort to simulate qualifying.
Magnussen ran 20 laps and set the 15th-fastest time with a 1:44.926 on his penultimate tour. Grosjean also logged 20 laps, earning his best time on his 18th tour – a 1:45.491 that put him 17th overall.
Fastest in FP3 was Bottas, whose best lap of 1:42.742 was .095 of a second quicker than his nearest pursuer, Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen.
“I’ve been struggling with the feeling and struggling with the driving style. The tires are really hard to bite the track. It’s been something I’ve been struggling with since Russia – where the tires are hard and the track is really smooth. I don’t get any feedback from the tires on the grip and what’s in the corners. I need to work on that and be better in these conditions. I just didn’t find the right balance. It’s going to be a long race and looking at all the practices, there’s going to be a lot going on. Hopefully, we get a good race.”
“It was a good qualifying considering our position this weekend. It’s not been our most competitive track – perhaps the weakest track we’ve been to this year in terms of competitiveness. So to be P12, after penalties and all that are done, I think we should be happy with that. It’s going to be a tough race tomorrow, but I’ll do what I can.”
“I think to qualify 13th and 17th, which eventually becomes 12th and 16th once others serve penalties – I wouldn’t have expected that after FP3 this afternoon. I would say we’ve put ourselves in a good position again to score points for tomorrow. That’s what we’ll try to do.”