K-Mag: Rivals ‘broke agreement’ over traffic

Date published: August 15 2020

Kevin Magnussen Haas

Kevin Magnussen accused his fellow drivers of breaking a gentlemen’s agreement after his Q1 exit from qualifying at the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Haas driver was 16th fastest in the opening qualifying session at the Circuit de Catalunya, missing out as Kimi Raikkonen advanced to Q2 for the first time this season.

But the Dane did not feel that was a true reflection of his car’s pace and insisted traffic on the out-lap before his last flying run had affected the performance.

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Magnussen claimed he had been held up, saying: “It wouldn’t have taken a lot to get further up into Q2 but we got compromised quite a bit with traffic on the out-lap on the second run – I was at walking speed!

“We even got overtaken by a few guys at the last corner. In the drivers’ meetings we’ve been talking about a gentlemen’s agreement, which I thought was a good thing if we could all agree by it, but obviously we don’t.

“Just before starting the second run I could see the tyres were cold, so you can’t brake as late and risk locking up. I certainly lost quite a bit of time through Turns 1 and 2, which I wouldn’t have if I didn’t have all the traffic on the out-lap. It’s just unfortunate that people were going so slow and also overtaking.

“I feel it’s a bit of a missed opportunity. I feel like the car has been there all weekend, I just haven’t been able to put together a lap to show it.”

Magnussen’s team-mate Romain Grosjean had a highly encouraging Friday when he finished in the top six in both practice sessions, but overnight his car needed an engine change.

The Frenchman was never able to produce anything like the same pace in qualifying and will start in 17th position, one place behind his colleague.

“The boys had to change the engine last night and finished at 4am,” said Grosjean. “I really wanted to give them a good day today, but I jumped in the car this morning and it didn’t feel the same.

“I could feel it coming, sadly. We need to analyse and understand. The set-up has gone again. I can’t drive with understeer, I don’t have any confidence and it’s killing us.”

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