Magnussen reflects on “harsh” penalties and “good teamwork” after tactically helping Haas to a points finish in F1 Saudi Arabian GP

Photo Credit: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team
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Kevin Magnussen provided a hefty dose of entertainment to fans during the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, as he deliberately held up the chasing pack to aid his teammate. The tactic worked, with Nico Hulkenberg picking up a crucial point for Haas.

By that stage Magnussen’s own race had been spoiled after he incurred two 10-second time penalties for two separate incidents. 

“The first one, we had contact with Albon—I didn’t mean to, but they gave a penalty for that,” Magnussen explained afterwards. “Fair enough, I think.”

The stewards also decided to issue Magnussen with three penalty points on his Super Licence for his clash with the Williams driver. 

“The second one, I overtook Tsunoda and went outside the track,” he continued. “Rules are rules, I’m not happy with myself getting those two penalties.

“At least I was able to help the team to create a gap so Nico could pit and get a point.”

Although rival team RB claimed the tactic was “unsportsmanlike” as it cost Yuki Tsunoda a potential points finish, Magnussen viewed it as solid teamwork on Haas’ part.

“So we showed a good pace today and good teamwork, so at least that’s some really good positives to bring forward.

“It was tough, but I’m glad we managed to do it and glad we got a point. It’s a tight battle between the five teams at the back. 

“I think from P6 down to 10 it’s a real championship, so every point matters. I’m really happy for the team and happy we pulled it off.”

Magnussen was the first driver to experience the effects of the revised penalty system; track limit violations are now punished more severely, with time penalties increased from 5 to 10 seconds.

The Dane took responsibility for both incidents, admitting that he needs to do better going forward.

“I tried to keep it within the white lines and I didn’t succeed,” he said.

“At the end of the day, it is what it is. I need to do a better job and avoid those penalties.

“I don’t usually get too many of them, but today I got two. That’s not a good day on that front. It’s a bit harsh, but we’ll look at it.”