Alex Albon raises concerns about Haas’ penalty tactic becoming the norm

Michelle Foster
Alex Albon in thought

Alex Albon is worried about Haas' Saudi Arabian tactic going forward.

Alex Albon is worried F1 teams could adopt Haas’ Saudi Arabian tactic where Kevin Magnussen copped a 10-second penalty to help Nico Hulkenberg score points.

Last time out at the Jeddah circuit, Magnussen courted controversy for what RB called “unsportsmanlike behaviour” when he overtook Yuki Tsunoda off the track and not only refused to give the position back, but deliberately slowed down.

Alex Albon weighs in on Kevin Magnussen’s Saudi penalties

That meant a 10-second penalty for the Danish driver, who had already one penalty hanging over his head for contact with Albon.

By slowing down, which was by “up to two seconds a lap” say RB, Magnussen gave his team-mate Hulkenberg breathing room with the German going on to finish the race in 10th place.

RB racing director Alan Permane said: “That, to me, doesn’t seem correct, and is the very definition of unsportsmanlike behaviour. I’m sure we and other teams will talk to the FIA about it for future races.”

It’s a conversation Albon may wish to be a part of as the Williams driver fears this could become a tactic this season given how close the competition is.

“You saw it this weekend,” he said. “I think any team would do the same thing if you sacrifice one driver for guaranteed points.

“Maybe the top teams won’t do it. But the midfield teams who need to take points at any opportunity, you would do it every single time.

“I think you might see more drivers doing it just to guarantee a team-mate to have points.”

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The Thai-British racer also weighed in on Magnussen’s two penalties, the first of which was for colliding with him after a Safety Car restart. For that the Haas driver was given 10 seconds.

“I think that was fair,” he said. “It happens, a bit of a squeeze. I don’t like how that corner is shaped. It sticks out to you. And I think it’s very misleading.

“You’ve got to leave more space than you realise, because of how it sticks out at the end there. They could just shave it flat, I think that would be easier. No hard feelings.”

As for the one for passing Tsunoda off the track, he said: “The other one was a bit cheeky, the other 10-second one with Yuki. I mean, you basically guarantee your team-mate points for a 10-second penalty.

“Why wouldn’t you do that everywhere? I don’t think five to 10 seconds is correct. I think it needs to be you must return the position back, and just leave it like that.”

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