Kevin Magnussen labelled himself “pretty gutted” after falling at the first hurdle during qualifying for Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix, reckoning it highlighted Haas’ narrow operating window.
Magnussen was only 17th during Q1, six-tenths slower than Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, who safely secured progression to the next segment by classifying fifth.
Hulkenberg went on to qualify in eighth position after also making it through to Q3.
“I think this weekend has been very up and down,” said Magnussen to TV reporters.
“On our side we’ve had sessions where we thought we were really quick, and me and Nico, one session I was much quicker than him, another session he was much quicker than me.
“In quali he was a fair bit quicker than me, it’s not been a weekend where we’ve been following each other [on set-up], we’ve been on different set-ups, and it seems like that window of the car working is very, very small.
“When you get that [window], it’s a good performance, as he showed in Q1.
“I’m pretty gutted to be P17, knowing there’s that kind of performance in the car, but all I can do is understand where it went wrong and do a better job tomorrow.”
Eighth represents Hulkenberg’s highest grid position since returning to Formula 1 with Haas.
“It’s positive and a very decent position to start the race from tomorrow,” said Hulkenberg.
“Track position is pretty valuable here in Barcelona, so we’ll take that and get ready for a tough fight.
“It’s not going to be an easy race, it’s going to be a tyre degradation race with strategy, and we have to play our cards well, but the car has been performing and I feel within the midfield we’re definitely competitive.”