Kevin Magnussen says that Haas must remember who its fights are with following its best-ever qualifying result on Friday.
The Dane ended the session in fourth place, placing him on the second row for the start of Saturday’s sprint race.
It marks Haas’ best-ever qualifying finish since it entered the sport in 2016, continuing the upward trend it has displayed this year compared to 2021.
With the result of Saturday’s race deciding the grid order for Sunday’s grand prix, Magnussen has pledged to remain cautious in battle.
“I want to start in a good position for the Sunday race,” Magnussen said. “We’re in P4. In the dry, I don’t think we’re fast enough to be P4, but it’s a tricky track to overtake, so if I can get around the first lap in P4, that’s going to be super.
“If I lose a position or two after that, you know we still get points and a great position for Sunday.
“Of course I always want to finish higher than fourth, but we’ve also got to be realistic and clever.
“I feel like I want to push, I’m so close to the top now… You can win from P4! But we’re not fast enough to do that.
“We’re in a different battle — we’ve got to remember what we’re trying to do and benefit from this great result today in a clever way.”
Magnussen almost didn’t see the end of the session, as in Q3, he brought out a red flag after sliding off the track and through the gravel, before stopping just short of the barrier – however he managed to return to his garage by himself.
“I ran out of talent!” Magnussen said. “I touched the white line and then it was gone, and I thought I was going to hit the wall.
“I then went into the gravel and slowed down quite a lot so I realised – I saw the anti-stall, pulled the clutch while I was still backwards, and then went onto the throttle just enough to get onto that escape road. Yeah, lucky.”