Haas embarrass rival teams after taking unusual approach to Barcelona upgrades

For the first time since 2019, the Haas F1 Team got both cars into Q3 with Kevin Magnussen starting eighth and Mick Schumacher in tenth.

Saturday was a day to remember for the Haas F1 Team, as both of their cars made it to Q3 for the first-time since 2019.

Kevin Magnussen ended qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix as the number one Haas, after putting his VF22 in eighth spot at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Magnussen was part of the team the last time both cars appeared in Q3, something which he’s “very happy” about.

What makes this double Q3 appearance extra-special though, is that unlike most teams, Haas haven’t brought any upgrades to Spain.

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Many teams have brought enormous upgrade packages to Spain this weekend, yet most appear to have taken a step-backwards.

Haas are aiming to introduce their own upgrades later in the year, but may be wondering if they even need to.

Magnussen starts ahead of most of the drivers with upgraded cars, despite suffering a DRS issue in qualifying.

The Dane is optimistic that big points are to play for on Sunday.

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“I’m very happy with that. Two cars in Q3 for the first time this year just shows that the car is very good,” Magnussen said.

“It’s been interesting because a lot of teams brought upgrades this weekend and it doesn’t seem like they’ve found a huge amount and we seemed to have also found a little bit, even without upgrades and just in the set-up.

“We had a DRS issue, which cost me some lap time, how much I don’t know, but it was close to the top-five and there was more in it. We start P8 tomorrow, let’s go for points!” 

In the other VF22, Mick Schumacher recovered from a burning rear-brakes issue in FP3 to qualify in tenth.

The young German is still yet to score a point in Formula 1, however, with overtaking set to be exceptionally difficult, Sunday might be his best chance yet of scoring some points.

Schumacher was hugely grateful to his team, who did a great job in getting his car ready in-time following the rear-brake issue.

“We’re obviously happy about getting into Q3. Even though it didn’t really look like we were on the pace, we still managed to do well. Not having driven FP3 definitely put a spanner in the works but we managed to overcome it.

“I’m very happy about today and very thankful for the team. It felt great knowing that we haven’t brought any updates and a bunch of teams have, knowing that we’re still in that ballpark is definitely a good feeling,”

Saturday was a proud day for Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner, who has seen it all at the American team.

Steiner was very pleased with the team’s qualifying performance, highlighting that is demonstrates the “made progress” by the side.

“A very good result and a pretty nerve-racking day in total,” said the Haas team principal.

“In FP3 Mick had the issue with his rear brakes and the hard work the guys had to do to get the car ready for qualifying – they did a terrific job to get it there just in time and you can’t ask for more of the team.

“In qualifying, two Haas cars in Q3 for the first time since 2019! For the whole team, I think it shows that we’ve made progress in the last races and it’s fantastic.

“Kevin had a few issues with DRS and that maybe hindered a little bit of what could’ve been a better result, but we are happy with this result,” concluded Steiner.