Kevin Magnussen says he plans to go for “maximum attack” in Saturday’s sprint race after securing a shock first Formula 1 pole position in Brazil.
Magnussen, who had never previously started higher than fourth, will be on pole for the sprint after finishing fastest in qualifying, managing to register a fast lap before a red flag caused by George Russell.
A rain shower arrived during the stoppage and despite the session restarting, the worsening conditions meant no one could improve their lap times – handing Magnussen his maiden career pole and Haas’ first since joining F1 back in 2016.
The result is remarkable considering Magnussen didn’t even have a seat for 2022, only to be drafted in to replace Nikita Mazepin on the eve of the first race in Bahrain.
“I don’t know what to say,” Magnussen said.
“The team put me out on track on exactly the right moment. We were first out in the pit lane, did a pretty decent lap, and we’re on pole. It’s incredible.
“Thank you to Gene Haas and Gunther [Steiner] and the whole team for this opportunity. I got back this year after a year out, and it’s just been an amazing journey. Thank you.”
Asked if he had expected be in a position to secure such a result when he woke up this morning, Magnussen replied: “Not even close. It’s incredible. Thank you.”
Magnussen will start at the front of the field for the 24-lap sprint, with points on offer to the top-eight finishers that will set the grid for Sunday’s main race.
The Danish driver insists he will go all out to try and keep hold of his position, adding: “Let’s go for something funny.”