Magnussen scored the first pole position of his F1 career at Interlagos on Friday after making the most of his track position advantage at the start of Q3 in damp conditions.
Magnussen’s early lap time put him on provisional pole, two tenths of a second ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, after coming in front of the line to exit the pits before the expected rain hit the track.
A red flag after George Russell’s spin in the gravel meant that by the time the session resumed, the rain had intensified and no one could beat Magnussen’s effort.
It sparked wild celebrations for Magnussen and Haas, the team celebrating its first pole since joining the F1 grid in 2016.
Haas team boss Steiner said on Sky Sports after qualifying that it was “the number one” of his career moments, saying he was “afraid to dream” of such a feat.
“We are doing our best, the whole team has worked hard for seven years, and then the conditions allowed us to do this,” said Steiner.
“But I don’t think it was luck. It was well deserved, from the driver, from the team that was on the right tires at the right time, Kevin put in a lap when needed.
‘You have to go out, he was the first. You can say yes, he had an advantage, but [as] one drawback, he had no one to gauge with. He was on his own. He set down a lap and it stuck.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, receives his Pirelli Pole Position award from Felipe Massa
Photo By: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images
“When it rains soup, you must have a spoon! And we had a spoon ready today!”
Steiner said Magnussen “just put down a perfect lap” in the slippery tire conditions because he knew it was important to get to the pit lane early before the session turned green.
“We can just do what we can do,” Steiner said. “I think the other cars that are only 10, 15, 20 seconds behind us couldn’t do what he did.
“It’s an honor for him, he got the chance and he grabbed it.”
The result comes on Magnussen’s 100th Grand Prix weekend for Haas, completing a dramatic turnaround since the start of the year when he planned to race sports cars, only to be called up as a replacement on the eve of the new season. by Nikita Mazepin.
“He earns a lot, the whole team deserves it,” Steiner added.
“We always work hard, we never give up, we keep fighting and you will always have opponents. But welcome to our pole position, naysayers!”