Magnussen on a tightrope, fears race ban for ‘minor thing’


Kevin Magnussen finds himself in a precarious situation ahead of this weekend’s Emilia Romagna GP, with the Haas charger teetering on the brink of a race ban, following his penalty-laden weekend in Miami last time out.

The Dane has admitted that he will need to adjust his racing style after reaching a tally of 10 penalty points on his Superlicence, putting him just two points away from sitting out a race.

Such a sanction hasn't been enforced since F1’s current penalty points system was introduced in 2014. The last race ban to hit a driver occurred in 2012, when Romain Grosjean was hit with a suspension.

In Miami, Magnussen accumulated a staggering four penalty points in the event’s sprint event alone, all while fiercely defending against Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton in an attempt to help his Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg secure points.

This pattern of aggressive defense, while strategically beneficial for Haas, has put Magnussen on a collision course with a potential race ban.

“I think the next time it’s a race ban, so I think I’ll have to,” he said, when asked if he’ll need to change his on-track tactics.

“But I don’t know. These situations where I’ve had to play the support role for my teammate, they have been paying off. It’s been kind of valuable to us.

“I don’t love the way the rules are, that it’s possible, I would love it to not be possible at all. But since the rules are as they are. I didn’t make the rules, I think there’s stuff to be looked at there.

“For myself, I’m on 10 points, so yeah I have to be careful not to get a race ban.”

Magnussen said that he would like to see the FIA make changes to how sanctions are awarded, especially as there are now a whopping 24 races on F1’s calendar.

“The fact 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 is right,” he added.

“But it is the way the rules are. So you know, I accept that. But I feel there’s room for improvement there, not only in terms of the points.

“There are more races now than there were when they were introduced. I feel you can end up getting a race ban effectively for a very minor thing. So that’s what I feel.”

Magnussen suggests that F1’s current penalty system is overly complex and punishes aggressive racing too harshly.

“The best thing would be to for the FIA to tell us to give back positions, and then the consequence for not doing that being harsh, like really harsh, so you make sure that’s being done," he explained.

"I think it gets too complicated and also too big a consequence for - you have to be able to leave a bit of room to go over the limit and then come back from that - whereas now if they judge it to be an unfair advantage and it’s a drive-through penalty, I think that’s not good.”

The Dane argues that showcasing the racing skills of the best drivers in the world should be a core element of F1, and the current penalty system stifles this by being overly punitive.

“I’ve raced in IndyCar, and I love the way they race over there, and I feel the rules are very clear and very simple, and the racing is great.

"The racing has to be great amongst the 20 best drivers in the world. I think that is also part of, one thing is that Formula 1 drivers are fast, but also very good at racing. You have to showcase that. That has to be part of it."

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