The Haas Formula 1 team is hoping to maintain its position as the leading midfield runner in Sunday’s German Grand Prix after achieving its best-ever qualifying result in Hockenheim

Kevin Magnussen finished just 0.988s adrift of Sebastian Vettel’s pole lap as he sealed fifth on the grid ahead of teammate Romian Grosjean, with the American squad taking advantage of the absence of Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton in Q3 to lock-out the third row of the grid in Germany. 

Haas started from the same positions in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix but only after Ricciardo - who had outpaced the pair in Melbourne - served a grid drop. 

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“I am very happy with today,” Magnussen said. “A good starting position for tomorrow, we’ve got both cars up there and hopefully we can bring it home with some strong points.

“My target is to stay ahead of the rest of the midfield. Hopefully we are better in race pace tomorrow than we were on Friday but the temperatures are a lot lower, it seems like, that could help us. We will see.”

Magnussen reckons the result shows his team has made positive steps in addressing the weakness it has faced this season in low-speed corners, having raised concerns about Hockenheim’s tight final sector ahead of the weekend. 

"I still think our car is particularly strong in the high-speed but we’ve been a bit weaker in low-speed and this track does have a few low-speed corners, and we seem to be good here so maybe we’ve improved our weakness,” he added. 

“Certainly our strength is still the high speed and that is where the car is really, really alive and works really well. Overall it’s very good clearly."

Grosjean felt he could have managed a better lap time had he not encountered an issue that forced him to run wide on his final flying effort and subsequently ruined his run. 

“It was pretty good. We just need to look what happened in the last run,” he said. "I went wide in Turn 1 so just going to analyse that, I couldn’t do the second push lap in Q3 unfortunately. 

“All in all, a good session, happy for the team on a track that we were not sure we we would be competitive, we’ve been good so that’s very encouraging. 

“Let’s try and avoid contact between teammates and then have a good race from there, but we should be alright.”

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