Magnussen leads McLaren’s charge in German GP qualifying

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Kevin Magnussen is quickly proving himself to be more than a match for experienced teammate Jenson Button at McLaren.

The young Dane qualified fourth for the German Grand Prix today at Hockenheim, finishing behind pole-sitter Nico Rosberg and the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.

After a difficult run of form, the rookie appears to have found his feet in Formula 1. His career began with a sterling performance at the Australian Grand Prix where he finished second to Rosberg, but he has not finished in the top five since. However, he has been consistently scoring points lately, and is hoping to continue that form from fourth on the grid tomorrow.

I think we got everything out of the car in terms of set-up, and our strategy throughout qualifying was perfect,” Magnussen said. “Thanks to all the guys in the garage, they did a fantastic job.

“It was a great achievement to be able to hold off the Red Bulls, and I feel that we’re not too far away from some of the really strong guys.”

Teammate Jenson Button suffered yet another Q2 elimination today at Hockenheim. The 2009 world champion was bumped out of the top ten at the very last moment of the session by Force India driver and former McLaren man Sergio Perez. The Mexican eventually qualified tenth in the Q3 shootout.

“This hasn’t been an easy weekend for me, which is a shame because I really like it around here,” Button said. “I’ve been struggling with the car’s balance.

“In qualifying, I encountered traffic on my first run in Q2, and that cost me the opportunity to get into Q3. On my final Q2 run, I had a very different balance and a lot of oversteer. I wasn’t quick enough.

“Looking ahead to tomorrow, our long-run pace didn’t look too strong on Friday. We struggled in the hot conditions, but I think we’ll hopefully be better if the predicted cooler conditions roll in for Sunday afternoon.”

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.