Haas’ Kevin Magnussen had his race undone by Sergio Perez’s audacious attempted overtake at the hairpin at Suzuka.
Perez was attempting to slice back through the field after picking up some early damage that required a stop for fresh tyres and a new front wing, when he encountered the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.
The Mexican driver had a look up the inside of Magnussen into the hairpin on Lap 11, but appeared to have the necessary patience to wait for a more clear-cut opportunity – only for Perez to dive down the inside once again on the following lap.
Kevin Magnussen: Sergio Perez move was desperate
With Magnussen turning into the corner, seemingly unaware that Perez had stuck his nose up the inside, it resulted in the pair making contact – Perez’s front-right wheel and nose against Magnussen’s left-rear.
Magnussen was spun dramatically around to face the wrong way, while Perez continued. He was forced to pit for another fresh front wing moments later, and was given a five second time penalty and two penalty points for hitting Magnussen.
Magnussen dived into the pits at the end of Lap 12, taking on the hard tyre. He would run two stints on the hard to get to the chequered flag, but the Haas’ high tyre degradation meant these stint lengths were a step too far.
Summing up his race afterwards, after coming home in 15th place, Magnussen deemed Perez’s move as overly optimistic .
“I just got hit on my rear tyre, it was a pretty desperate move there,” he said.
“But it is what is, I got spun around. Then we had to pit and that was too early for the two-stop strategy that we had and the tyre degradation that we had on our car.
“So that made that situation a lot worse by having to pit at that point, and we didn’t really want to do a three-stop – that wouldn’t have worked either. It ended our race there and his as well, of course, but s**t happens.”