Haas team principal Guenther Steiner wants to come away with points from the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend after Kevin Magnussen secured the team’s first-ever pole position on Friday.
As part of a Sprint weekend, qualifying took place on Friday afternoon after just one practice session, and Magnussen excelled in mixed conditions to reach Q3. With rain starting to fall on a track dry enough for slicks, Haas got Magnussen to the front of the queue at the pit exit and the Dane duly pulled out a stunning lap to beat Max Verstappen by 0.2s to take the first pole position of his career and the first for Haas.
“So you have no confidence in us!” Steiner told RACER after being congratulated on such a surprise result. “We delivered more than you expected! It’s fantastic for the whole team — they did a very good job today. Hats off to everybody, and the lap that Kevin put down was fantastic.
“I don’t know if I thought we had a chance starting Q3 — I mean, you always think about it but you just try to do your best job and whatever comes out of it comes out of it, and today it was good.”
The team principal was a popular man in the paddock but says there will be no major celebrations tonight for the Haas team, with the short Sprint event — scheduled for when rain is also forecast — giving Magnussen a chance of scoring if he can stay in the top eight positions.
“Points — I hope we can score some points. That’s our aim,” Steiner insisted. “We won’t enjoy it too much tonight, we will focus on tomorrow — the races are tomorrow and on Sunday and that’s more important.”
Magnussen said he’s thrilled to pay his team back having been re-signed by Steiner and Gene Haas at the start of this year.
“It feels good,” Magnussen said. “They deserve it — they gave me a big responsibility coming back here and we’ve had a fun year for sure.”