Magnussen says he wrongly ‘trusted’ Perez ahead of Monaco crash

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Kevin Magnussen admits he committed a critical error that led to his crash with Sergio Perez in Monaco: placing his trust in the Red Bull driver.

Magnussen and Perez clashed on the opening lap of the race on the run-up to Beau Rivage when the Haas charger went for a gap on the right of the Mexican’s car only for the latter to close the space and wreak havoc on the pair’s momentum.

In the fracas, Perez’s out of control Red Bull tagged the other Haas of Nico Hulkenberg, sending the German into a spin and out of the race along with his two colleagues.

No penalties were handed out by the stewards, which surprised Perez who was definitely at odds with the Dane’s view of the incident.

Ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, even with the benefit of hindsight, Magnussen hadn’t changed his stance: Perez was still the guilty party. He explained why in Montreal on Thursday.

“I don't see Checo as a dirty driver or anything,” he said. “But I was surprised that he didn't leave me the room. Clearly, he was just pushing me to the wall to intimidate me and have me back out.

“But that's certainly not the way we should be racing.

“He can't argue that he didn't see me. He saw me. There's no way around it. He did see me. So yeah, that is the reason I kept it flat - because I trusted that he would leave me the space since he'd seen me.

“I've looked at it many times,” he continued. “It's always one thing right when it happens, but your view of what happens often changes when you see it from the outside. But in this case, it didn't change so much.”

Magnussen says he went for the gap because he knew Perez had seen him, or at least that is what he believed.

“He had seen me, and I knew he had seen me,” he said. “It’s one thing if you're not sure he's seen you, then I perceive the risk as being bigger.

“If I wasn't sure that he's seen me, I probably would have just backed off. But it was very clear to me that he had seen me. So, I thought okay, he's going to leave a car width. I trusted that he was going to do that – in hindsight, I shouldn't have trusted him.

“But that doesn't change the fact that he didn't leave a car width. Maybe with my experience, I should have known that certain drivers don't always leave a car width. There is always a risk that they won't.”

The Dane also stated that there came a point during his maneuver where he reached the point of no return, meaning he couldn’t back off in a safe way.

“You get to a point where you're so close to the wall, and his rear wheel comes out, so you're locked in - because if you brake then, he's going to hit your front wheel with his rear,” he said.

“There is a point of no return and you're at his mercy. Leading up to that, I had full confidence that he had seen me because as soon as I got that momentum, he went to the right to cover me.

“You can see his head. You know, he's seen me - there's no doubt. I can go and look at his onboard afterwards - and I can see that he's checking his mirror several times. Had I not been confident that he'd seen me, I would have probably backed out.”

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