Oscar Piastri loses Imola GP front row over Kevin Magnussen qualifying incident

Henry Valantine
Oscar Piastri in the paddock at Imola.

Oscar Piastri put his McLaren within a tenth of Max Verstappen's pole time at Imola.

Oscar Piastri has been given a three-place grid penalty for impeding Kevin Magnussen during Q1 at Imola on Saturday.

The McLaren driver had been due to start second on the grid after an excellent qualifying showing, but will now get underway from fifth as team-mate Lando Norris starts on the front row in his place, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz also moving up a place as a result.

Oscar Piastri penalised over Kevin Magnussen impeding incident

Additional reporting by Thomas Maher

The Haas driver was left furious as he felt he lost downforce through Tamburello on his final qualifying lap in Q1, with the Dane dropping out at the first stage before the McLaren driver went on to qualify second on the grid.

Magnussen took to team radio to voice his frustration in the moment, saying: “I can’t believe this, man. It’s unreal. It’s un-****ing real.”

He was later seen grazing the grass on the way up to Variante Alta in avoidance of other cars on track, with the Haas driver dropping out in Q1 while team-mate Nico Hulkenberg made it through to Q3.

Both Magnussen and Piastri were called before the stewards to discuss their view of the incidents, with the Haas driver voicing his feelings to media including PlanetF1.com after he was knocked out of qualifying.

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“Yeah, double annoying,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s the fourth or fifth time this year that we have traffic in qualifying on the lap that counts.

“I don’t think we’re doing anything different to everyone else in terms of timing, leaving the pit, I think it’s bad luck but, by now, it sounds like a bad excuse.

“So I’ve just got to be patient and it’s tough, because it’s really having a big effect on my season.”

As for Piastri, he took the view that he did not see Magnussen coming – with cars approaching the Tamburello chicane from around 200mph into that braking zone.

He said he would await the stewards’ judgement before commenting further.

“I mean, I need to see it back a bit more,” he said in the post-race press conference.

“When I looked in the mirrors, I didn’t see any cars coming and then he was was right there. So need to have a look and see what the stewards say.”

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