Magnussen downbeat after poor qualifying display

1 Comment

McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen has made no secret of his annoyance after qualifying down in 15th place for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix.

The Danish driver, who is currently taking part in his debut season in Formula 1, made a great start to the year in Australia by finishing second. However, since then, he has scored just two points, having struggled for pace in Malaysia and retired from the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago.

If he had any hopes of scoring some more points in China this weekend, they have been dealt a huge blow after he failed to get to grips with the wet conditions on Saturday afternoon.

“I’m pretty disappointed to have qualified 15th,” Magnussen said. “It’s not great.

“I don’t really know what happened, we had issues with overall grip. I’m not sure if it was the tires not being in the correct working temperature range.”

Despite this result, Magnussen is confident that the position is not representative of both his and McLaren’s potential, and he believes that with some work the team can understand what caused such a poor performance.

“We’ll go back and look at things,” he said. “I believe we’re better than 15th, so we clearly didn’t get everything right today. Still, we’re not fast enough and we need to find more speed.

“The team is doing a good job of improving things, but it just takes time. These things aren’t fixed overnight, but I have faith in the team.

“We’ll get there. We’ll see what we can do in the race tomorrow.”

Jenson Button also endured a difficult Saturday in Shanghai, qualifying down in 12th position. McLaren will be hoping that – with a slice of luck and perhaps some dry running – a good haul of points is still possible tomorrow.

Power, Newgarden, Dixon fastest in first of 2 IndyCar practices today at Barber Motorsports Park

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Will Power was fastest in Friday’s first of two IndyCar practice sessions at Barber Motorsports Park.

Power covered the 2.3-mile permanent road course in 1:07.5987 minutes at 122.488 mph in the 45-minute practice session.

Even though he spun off the course during his session, Phoenix winner Josef Newgarden still managed to be second-fastest (121.919 mph at 1:07.9141 minutes), followed by Scott Dixon (121.296 mph/1:082627), Max Chilton (121.251 mph/1:08.2882) and Ed Jones (121.215 mph/1:09.5692).

 

Sixth through 10th were Simon Pagenaud (121.208 mph/1:08.3122), Jordan King (121.113 mph/1:083661), Graham Rahal (121.059 mph/1:08.3964), St. Petersburg winner Sebastien Bourdais (121.029 mph/1:08.4131) and rookie Zach Veach (121.014 mph/1:08.4216).

Here’s the full speed chart:

Incidents:

* Early in the session, Long Beach winner Alexander Rossi ran off the track and into the grass, striking a small sign, but was able to get back on-track. However, Rossi was only able to complete 10 laps, relegating him to 20th-fastest in the 23-car field.

* Moments later, it appeared the rear brakes locked up on Newgarden heading into Turn 5, spinning him into the gravel trap. He was able to get going and returned to the pits for service and was back on-track with less than four minutes remaining in the session.

ALSO OF NOTE:

* The second practice session of the day will begin at 3:50 p.m. ET. A third practice will take part Saturday morning at 10:50 a.m. ET, followed by qualifying beginning at 4:05 p.m. ET. The race, to be televised live Sunday on NBCSN, is slated to start at 3:30 p.m. ET.

* However, weather forecast does not look promising for Sunday’s race. As of 1 p.m. ET today, the forecast calls for 100 percent rain throughout the day.

* Dixon has had an incredible record at Barber Motorsports Park, with seven podium finishes in eight starts there. Except for one thing: he has yet to win a race there. But he does have five runner-up and two other third-place showings on the permanent road course.

Follow @JerryBonkowski