A Formulation 1 Driver Is on the Brink of Being Barred From Races

by Christina S. Brown
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When you’d have instructed Haas going into this Formulation One season that, after Miami, it will have factors from 4 rounds and sit seventh within the championship, the group would have been delighted.

A automobile that’s extra forgiving on its tires, mixed with some notably spectacular shows from Nico Hülkenberg, has put Haas a step forward of Williams, Sauber and Alpine to date in 2024. It has surpassed all preseason expectations, set low after a tough finish to final 12 months, by which it completed final, and that resulted in Guenther Steiner’s offseason exit.

On a few events, the deciding issue to make the highest 10 has been Hülkenberg’s teammate, Kevin Magnussen, whose daring defensive techniques — it wouldn’t be a stretch to name them aggressive — have helped his teammate snare a few further factors.

However after a penalty-laden weekend in Miami, Magnussen will spend the remainder of the season on the point of an F1 race ban for his driving conduct, assuming he doesn’t set off it with yet another offense.

At a time when the gulf between F1’s quickest 5 groups and the slowest 5 is so nice, each single level is efficacious within the battle behind the grid, notably as every constructors’ championship place is price within the area of $12-15 million in prize cash.

Magnussen had this in thoughts in Saudi Arabia after selecting up a time penalty for a collision with Alex Albon early on and one other for passing Yuki Tsunoda off-track. Realizing his race was ruined by the added time, he received aggressive in his defensive strikes to assist Hülkenberg. By slowing down the automobiles he was preventing, Magnussen created a niche that meant Hülkenberg may pit with out dropping a place, maintaining tenth to attain a valuable level for Haas.

Publish-race, Hülkenberg thanked Magnussen for enjoying the group recreation. Magnussen picked up three penalty factors for the collision with Albon, whereas the overtake on Tsunoda solely resulted in a 10-second time penalty — although it had price the automobiles behind way more.

Magnussen picked up one other two penalty factors in China for his collision with Tsunoda after the protection automobile restart, placing him on 5 for the season. Any driver who accrues 12 penalty factors on their tremendous license in a 12-month interval is topic to a one-race ban, per the foundations launched in 2014.

Kevin Magnussen’s 2024 driving offenses

RaceOffensePenalty

Saudi Arabia

Inflicting a collision with Albon

10s time penalty; 3 penalty factors

Saudi Arabia

Leaving the monitor and gaining a bonus

10s time penalty

China

Inflicting a collision with Tsunoda

10s time penalty; 2 penalty factors

Miami (dash)

Leaving the monitor and gaining a bonus

10s time penalty

Miami (dash)

Leaving the monitor and gaining a bonus

10s time penalty

Miami (dash)

Leaving the monitor and gaining a bonus

10s time penalty; 3 penalty factors

Miami (dash)

Leaving the monitor with out a justifiable purpose a number of instances

5s time penalty

Miami (GP)

Inflicting a collision with Sargeant

10s time penalty; 2 penalty factors

Miami (GP)

Coming into the pit lane underneath security automobile and never altering tires

Drive-through, transformed to 20s time penalty

Nevertheless it was within the Miami dash race that Magnussen did himself the actual harm, once more to help Hülkenberg rating just a few factors. He went off-track on three events to assist keep forward of Lewis Hamilton, opening up a niche to Hülkenberg forward within the course of. Every triggered a 10-second time penalty that meant Magnussen was labeled final, however his actions had been efficient in permitting Hülkenberg to hurry away in entrance.

Magnussen was already conscious of the primary 10-second time penalty dropping him to final earlier than the second and third offenses, the latter additionally leading to three penalty factors on his tremendous license due to the frequency of the misdeeds. Publish-race on the radio, he talked about some “good teamwork”, and admitted afterwards to F1 TV that he needed to “needed to do my factor to guard Nico” who scored two factors for Haas in seventh.

“I needed to play the sporting recreation to not have him be overtaken as properly,” Magnussen stated. “So, not the way in which I need to go racing. However what I needed to do.”

The stewards investigated Magnussen for unsportsmanlike conduct after the dash, given he so freely admitted to driving how he did to assist Hülkenberg, solely to deem this bar to be set too excessive for his actions. Magnussen received the penalties the rules dictate; in the event that they’re not extreme sufficient, that’s on the foundations, not the motive force. The stewards did notice the actual fact the foundations don’t deter the sort of means Magnussen drove, and that they’d “increase explicitly” the matter with the FIA and the stewarding group.

Magnussen agreed the foundations may very well be improved. “When you’re preventing and also you do one thing that’s not allowed, it will be nice if the FIA had the ability to inform you to offer it again and swap positions,” he stated. “That means, it’s going to have an impact instantly and cease any video games being performed.”

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MAY 04: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari leads Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 VF-24 Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Miami at Miami International Autodrome on May 04, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)


Magnussen’s questionable techniques saved Hamilton from passing his teammate Hülkenberg within the Miami Dash race. (Jared C. Tilton – Formulation 1/Formulation 1 through Getty Photographs)

McLaren boss Andrea Stella was very unimpressed by Magnussen’s actions within the dash, calling them “unacceptable” and saying that penalties ought to be “exponential,” not cumulative. “5 plus 5 plus 5 ought to equal… possibly you must spend a weekend at residence with your loved ones, mirror in your sportsmanship after which come again,” Stella stated.

It can require a detailed look from the FIA, whether or not this can be a loophole it wants to shut to enhance driving requirements, or just a part of the sport. For now, it firmly stays the latter, and it’s one which Magnussen performed to perfection in Miami.

That’s to not say there will not be a worth to pay. The three penalty factors had been adopted by one other two on Sunday for his clumsy collision with Logan Sargeant, taking Magnussen as much as 10, two shy of a race ban.

It’s not the primary time a driver has reached this tally — Pierre Gasly spent just a few races on 10 factors in early 2023 — however will probably be the primary time a driver has to spend nearly all of the season with the specter of a ban looming.

Penalty factors are sometimes restricted to on-track incidents (the three for the repeated breaches of monitor limits was an exception), that means it’s prone to solely be a collision with one other driver which may tip Magnussen over the restrict to 12. Magnussen received’t drop any of his factors till the beginning of subsequent season, that means he has one other 18 races to outlive with none extra incidents.

Had been Magnussen to be benched for a race, Oliver Bearman could be first in line to step in after his star flip for Ferrari in Jeddah. Bearman will participate in FP1 for Haas at Imola subsequent weekend, his first of six scheduled observe appearances with the group over the course of the season.

Asking a driver to vary their method or be extra conscious when in battle is much simpler stated than finished. For Magnussen, as profitable as his techniques have been to date in serving to Haas this season, they now go away him prone to spending a race on the sidelines barring a spotless the rest of the season.

(Lead photograph of Kevin Magnussen: Tune Haiyuan/MB Media/Getty Photographs)

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