Steiner: Magnussen ‘can’t be proud’ of defensive on-track antics

© XPB 

Former Haas team principal Guenther Steiner has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the defensive tactics displayed by Kevin Magnussen in Miami last time out, insisting the Dane “can’t be proud” of his on-track behaviour.

Magnussen resorted to questionable maneuvers in Saturday’s Sprint event to fend off Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton while also protecting Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg’s position in the points up ahead.

While the Dane’s antics paid off for Haas, with Hulkenberg finishing P8 and scoring 2 points, Magnussen was hit with a barrage of time penalties for exceeding track limits and gaining an advantage and also for a defensive move no Hamilton.

The penalties translated into a total of five points added to Magnussen's superlicence, leaving the Haas charger just one point short of a 12-point outright race ban.

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Miami wasn’t the first time Magnussen has been penalized for such tactics. A similar incident occurred earlier this season in Jeddah where he also purposefully held off his rivals to favour Hulkenberg.

Steiner, who worked for several seasons with Magnussen at Haas, was clearly unimpressed by hos former driver’s actions.

“It has to be fair play. You can be aggressive, but we’ve seen this game for the second time [Jeddah also],” the Italian told Sky Germany.

“As a driver, you can’t be proud if you ruin someone else’s race.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas F1 Team with Guenther Steiner (ITA) Haas F1 Team Prinicipal on the grid. 30.07.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, Race Day. -, EMail: © Copyright: Bearne / XPB Images

Steiner reckoned that rather than sanctioning a driver with time penalties, a drive-through penalty would act as a better deterrent against a driver's excessive defensive tactics.

“Once you get the first ten seconds, it doesn’t matter whether you get another ten seconds,” added Steiner. “That’s why a drive-through penalty is definitely more effective.

“You then have to take this penalty within a few laps and then you’re gone and can’t cause any further trouble.”

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