Kevin Magnussen will start from the pit lane as a result of his crash in qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix, with Carlos Sainz also getting a grid drop.
At the end of Q2, Magnussen touched the ‘Wall of Champions’ and spun across the track, hitting the pit wall hard and heavily damaging his car. While Magnussen originally qualified in 10th place, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner says the chassis will be changed that will see him start from the pit lane.
“The damage is pretty big,” Steiner said. “We need to change the chassis — we will start from the pit lane, obviously — we need to change the gearbox, there’s no point trying to start somewhere at the back with the C5 tire. So we start from the pit lane. The best way is to change the chassis, the quickest and safest way is to do that and then go back and start from the pit lane for once.”
Steiner says he hasn’t spoken specifically to Magnussen about the incident, saying such a mistake is rare from the Dane.
“You don’t say a lot. If it happens every couple of races then you say something, but it happens. They’re trying, it happened — it is what it is. What can you say? You can’t say anything, it’s too late anyway, and it’s not as if Kevin has a lot of offs or a lot of damages. He tried to have a very good lap and he got caught out, that’s it.”
Magnussen himself says he was caught out by his right rear tire failing after the initial contact with the wall, and kept his foot on the throttle initially before the car snapped across the track on him.
“I just had a snap and brushed the wall,” Magnussen said. “It wasn’t even that hard but I caught the wall on the rim so it just blew the rim and took the tire off the rim and shot me over to the other side.
“I didn’t expect to spin like that, but because the outside of the rim had been blown off it turned me around. I didn’t think it would be any problem, because when I had the snap I thought, ‘OK I might hit but it’s going to be fine.’ I hit it only slightly, but it was right on the rim and it blew and then I started going (round).”
On top of the impact on Magnussen’s starting position, Sainz was handed a three-place grid penalty for impeding Alexander Albon during Q1, with the Toro Rosso driver starting a flying lap close behind Sainz — who had just finished a lap — and getting held up at Turn 2.
The Spaniard is provisionally relegated from ninth on the grid to 12th, although Magnussen’s pit lane start will promote him back to 11th place.