Formula 1 Racing

Does Magnussen deserve to be one penalty away from a race ban? · RaceFans

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Miami International Autodrome, 2024

Just 18 months ago, Pierre Gasly found standing on the precipice of being the first ever F1 driver to be hit with a race ban for meeting the maximum threshold of 12 penalty points on his superlicence.

Introduced in 2014, the system was brought in after some controversial incidents over the previous seasons.

But in over ten years of use, no driver has hit the 12-point limit that will result in an immediate one-race suspension – even if Gasly came close at the end of 2022. Over the space of six months, the AlphaTauri driver collected 10 penalty points for repeated incidents that left him just two away from a ban.

What really put Gasly under pressure was that he was sat staring down a race ban for just over 200 days, before his first penalty points would be removed from his super licence after last year’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, which ultimately never happened. But despite a wafer thin margin for error, Gasly successfully avoided earning any more penalty points and escaped a race ban.

In 2024, however, Kevin Magnussen is arguably in an even more precarious situation than Gasly.

How Magnussen collected 10 penalty points in two months

What makes Magnussen’s situation all the more remarkable is that he began the year with a spotless superlicence. He avoided picking up a single point throughout the whole of 2023.

The trouble began at the second round of the season in Saudi Arabia, when he squeezed Alexander Albon into the wall on the approach to turn four. Following new guidelines devised over the off-season, the stewards duly handed Magnussen a ten-second time penalty for the clash as well as three penalty points – one more than most collisions incurred last season.

Magnussen had a stream of penalties in Miami

Magnussen also received an additional 10-second penalty in the same race for leaving the track and gaining and advantage as he desperately fought to back the pack up to benefit team mate Nico Hulkenberg ahead but received no points for that second incident.

He was brought in front of the stewards again in the fifth grand prix of the year in China after colliding with Yuki Tsunoda at turn six after the Safety Car restart. Although the consequences were more severe for the car Magnussen hit – as Tsunoda retired as a result – the stewards felt need to only give two points for the clash, bringing his total up to five.

But last weekend in Miami Magnussen found himself in constant trouble. During the sprint race he dropped out of DRS range of his team…

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