Kevin Magnussen felt delighted to match his second-best qualifying result of the 2016 Formula 1 season in Malaysia on Saturday, finishing 14th for Renault in Q2.
Magnussen has scored all seven of Renault’s points since its return to F1 as a constructor in 2016, the most recent coming in Singapore two weeks ago when he finished 10th.
Magnussen is known to be fighting for his future as Renault continues to deliberate its line-up for 2017, and did his chances a world of good by charging to 14th in qualifying on Saturday.
Magnussen finished 13th in Q1 to secure a Q2 berth, where he ended up P14 ahead of both Toro Rosso drivers despite making an error on his final lap as he chased an elusive place in Q3.
“It’s a very good result for us in qualifying. P14 is much better than usual in terms of setting us up for scoring some points in the race,” Magnussen said.
“But it’s an ambivalent result as I felt so close to Q3 that I couldn’t resist giving it everything I’ve got on my final run; I locked up in Turn 1 and lost the lap. I didn’t improve after that so it’s unfortunate.
“From P14, not a lot has to happen in the top ten for us to get points, which is always the aim. Let’s see tomorrow, hopefully our race pace is as good as qualifying today.
“You never really know how it will go here, so fingers crossed!”
Teammate Jolyon Palmer was left ruing a mistake at the final corner of his final Q1 lap as he finished 19th, four-tenths of a second off Magnussen’s time.
“I’ll be frank: my lap was pretty far from what it should have been. I made the wrong call on set-up between my runs and the lap just didn’t come together,” Palmer conceded.
“This was particularly frustrating as the pace has looked promising all weekend and there’s definitely better possible from the car here.
“Tomorrow I’ll be pushing all the way to make amends especially as this is a track where moving up the order is possible.”
The Malaysian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 2am ET on Sunday.