Kevin Magnussen escapes punishment after FIA investigation into alleged unsportsmanlike racing

Thomas Maher
Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen has been summoned by the stewards in Miami due to alleged unsportsmanlike racing.

Following his racing tactics in the Sprint race at the Miami Grand Prix, Kevin Magnussen had to visit the stewards.

The Danish driver picked up three separate 10-second time penalties during the Sprint race in Miami, before receiving a summons from the FIA stewards for his defence against Lewis Hamilton.

Kevin Magnussen engages in intense defence against Lewis Hamilton

Occupying eighth place during the Sprint race at the Miami International Autodrome, Magnussen found himself under pressure from Hamilton as the Mercedes driver tried to get by the Haas.

Picking up an instant 10-second time penalty after skipping the chicane, Magnussen engaged in the same tactic he used to great effect in the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – with teammate Nico Hulkenberg ahead on track, he set about holding back Hamilton at whatever cost.

It resulted in some unusual driving choices, with Magnussen not caring about how much time he lost as he did everything in his power to keep Hamilton behind, including intentionally running wide to push the Mercedes out off the track with him.

Picking up a further two 10-second time penalties for his repeated track limits antics, Magnussen was also shown the black and white flag and then picked up another five-second time penalty for a further track limits breach.

When the race ended, Magnussen was summoned before the stewards for an alleged breach of Article 12.2.1.l, which bans: “Any infringement of the principles of fairness in Competition, behaviour in an unsportsmanlike manner or attempt to influence the result of a Competition in a way that is contrary to sporting ethics.”

Following a lengthy investigation, the stewards ruled Magnussen was not guilty of unsportsmanlike behaviour.

In their verdict document, the stewards wrote:

“We considered the matter and found as follows:

1. The standard for establishing unsportsmanlike behaviour must undoubtedly be high.

2. In circumstances such as this one, there must be clear evidence of an intention to behave in a manner that can be said to be unsportsmanlike as a finding of unsportsmanlike behaviour is serious.

3. While we disagreed with the way in which Car 20 was driven today, in particular, the repeated infringements from leaving the track, we do not think that the actions reached the level of unsportsmanlike behaviour.

“Having said that, moving forward, the Stewards will need to consider if, in appropriate situations, especially in the case of repeat infringements, the penalties to be applied for each infringement need to be increased to discourage scenarios such as those that we found today. This is something that we will raise explicitly with the FIA and the Stewarding team.”

With Hulkenberg finishing in seventh and Magnussen coming home classified in 18th once his penalties were applied, the Danish driver said the penalties he’d been given were a fair cop.

“All the penalties were well deserved – no doubt about it,” he said.

“But I had to play the game again.

“I was in a very good position behind Nico [Hulkenberg] there. At the beginning of the race, I gained a lot of positions and was up in P8.

“I was protecting well from Lewis because I had the DRS from Nico and I had good pace.

“Then Nico cut the chicane and I lost the DRS. Nico could have given that back to give me the DRS to protect because then we would have easily been P7 and P8.

“Instead, I was really vulnerable to Lewis. Started fighting with him like crazy and I had to just create the gap like I did in Jeddah. recommends

2024 Miami Grand Prix – Sprint race results

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“I started using these stupid tactics which I don’t like doing but, at the end of the day, I did my job as a team player and Nico scored his points because I got that gap for him so Lewis and Tsunoda couldn’t catch him.

“Not the way I like to go racing at all but it was what I had to do today.”

Hamilton, upon hearing Magnussen’s open admission of his tactics, said he understood the Haas driver’s position and wasn’t annoyed despite the frustration of being unable to clear the Dane.

“I think that’s pretty honest of him and pretty cool,” Hamilton told Sky F1.

“We had a good race, it was a little on the edge in some places. That’s what I love, I love racing hard.

“And for me, I wasn’t really frustrated or anything, that’s what you do to work as a team.”

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