Spanish GP: Haas's Kevin Magnussen feels like he's on pole position
|By Glenn Freeman, Adam Cooper||Saturday, May 12th 2018, 17:03 GMT|
Kevin Magnussen says he feels like he has pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix because seventh is the best anyone outside the top three Formula 1 teams can achieve.
The Haas driver was seventh or sixth in each of the three qualifying segments at Barcelona on Saturday, and he said he is preparing for a race where he effectively has no-one ahead of him to worry about.
"It's pole position for us - we don't really feel like we could have done any better," said Magnussen.
"Unless you are in a Ferrari, Mercedes or Red Bull, then this is pole position.
"I really feel like I'm on pole position because I'm not really attacking anyone.
"Of course I'll take what is there if I get an opportunity, but I'm not expecting to be fighting anyone in front.
"In my position, the most important lap of the race will be lap one. I don't have that much to gain, but I have a lot to lose."
When asked if it would be wise to let the top cars get away so he could lead the midfield battle in clear air, Magnussen added: "I don't have a choice, they will go no matter what.
"If I can get out of lap one in seventh, then it will be like leading the race.
"You will see the guys in front, they will just go, and you will have free air.
"Whoever is in seventh is going to be in a good position tomorrow."
Magnussen will share the fourth row of the grid with McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who will be the only driver in the top 10 forced to start on the supersoft tyre because he used it to progress from Q2.
"I've got someone [alongside] who is really going to struggle to do a one-stop strategy," he said of Alonso.
"If he gets in front, then basically you can afford to wait for him to pit, then you just have to do a clean race.
"It's clearly not great to be starting on the supersoft, and I don't think anyone will be tomorrow except for the ones that have to.
"It's not faster. There's no upside to it. It wears out faster, and it's slower [in lap time]."