Formula 1 Racing

Haas F1 driver Magnussen feels he’s been penalised for driving “outside of some white lines”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Magnussen’s last three race outings – the Chinese GP, Miami sprint and Miami GP – brought him from three licence penalty points to 10, just two short of the FIA’s limit for F1 drivers earning a race ban. This was introduced into the FIA’s superlicence system in 2014.

While his Shanghai and main Miami race penalties were considered slam dunk cases given Magnussen’s actions put Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant out respectively in those events, his driving in the Miami sprint really ignited this saga.

His battling efforts to keep Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton behind meant Magnussen was handed three 10-second time penalties for repeatedly leaving the track and gaining advantages, plus one five-second penalty and a black-and-white warning flag for additional track limits abuse.

Later, he was investigated over his actions and post-race comments possibly being considered unsportsmanlike behaviour.

This all followed Magnussen using similar hard-racing tactics back in March’s Jeddah race to prevent rivals from moving clear and catching his Haas team-mate, Nico Hulkenberg.

On the eve of this weekend’s Imola event, it was revealed that the FIA is now considering altering F1’s sporting rules to mean such transgressions will accrue more costly drive-through sanctions.

Inevitably as he faced F1’s media corps in the pre-event press conference for this weekend’s Emilia-Romagna GP, Magnussen was repeatedly asked about the situation.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

After confirming that he’ll “have to” race differently to avoid getting any more penalty points and “be careful not to get a race ban”, Magnussen questioned the stewards’ decisions regarding his actions in the Miami sprint.

“The fact that I’m at risk of a race ban for driving outside of some white lines – on a piece of Tarmac – I don’t know if I feel that that is right,” said Magnussen.

“But it is the way the rules are. I accept that but I feel there is room for improvement there.

“Not only in terms of the [penalty] points. There are more races now than there was back when they were introduced and I feel you can end up getting a race ban effectively for a very minor thing. That’s what I feel.”

When asked by Autosport if he supported the FIA move to drive-through sanctions, Magnussen instead offered an alternative solution.

“I think the best thing would be for the FIA to tell us to give back…

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