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today is Dec 06, 2022

Kevin Magnussen said he was “not even close” to imagining he might take pole position for the Brazilian Grand Prix sprint race.

The Haas driver scored the surprise result in a rain-hit qualifying session for tomorrow’s opening race at Interlagos. He was one of just a handful of drivers to set a time at the beginning of Q3 before George Russell spun off, triggering a red flag.

While the session was suspended, rain fell on the track which prevented drivers from beating Magnussen’s time after the session restarted. When Q3 finished the Haas team erupted in celebration after taking its first pole position of any kind in F1.

It was a stunning turnaround for Magnussen, who was left without an F1 drive last season after being dropped by Haas at the end of 2020. He regained his place at the team after Nikita Mazepin was ousted during the off-season.

“I don’t know what to say,” said Magnussen. He complimented his team for ensuring they were well placed to take advantage of the changing conditions.

“The team put me out on-track at exactly the right moment,” said Magnussen. “I mean, we were first out in the pit lane and did a decent lap and we’re on pole. It’s incredible.

“Thank you to Gene Haas and Guenther [Steiner, team principal] and the whole team for this opportunity. I got back this year after a year out and it’s just been an amazing journey. So thank you.”

He vowed to go on “maximum attack” during tomorrow’s sprint race, which will decide the grid for Sunday’s grand prix. “Let’s go for something funny.”

Magnussen Q3 team radio exchange excerpt

Slade Okay Kev. Magnussen What position are we? Slade You’re P1, mate. Magnussen You’re kidding. Slade I am not kidding. I’ve got to buy everybody dinner if we finish there tonight. Magnussen You’re kidding! You’re fucking kidding me. I’ve never, ever felt like this in my life. Slade It’s not over yet… Magnussen Don’t celebrate yet. Don’t celebrate yet. Slade It’s not over yet, Kev.

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