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2018 F1

Magnussen edges closer to Race Ban

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Kevin Magnussen has been reprimanded by the Spanish Grand Prix stewards for a “potentially dangerous” and “unnecessary” move on Sauber’s Charles Leclerc in Opening practice session.

The Haas F1 driver now has seven penalty points on his Super-license after earning two points for causing a collision with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly in the closing stages of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix last race weekend.

During the final stage of the FP1 Leclerc was closing on the slower-moving Magnussen on the pit straight and moved to pass on the inside, only for Magnussen to move across, forcing Leclerc to back off suddenly.

“Magnussen needs to understand that he’s not alone on track,” complained Leclerc on the team radio.

“Honestly… He’s on a slow lap and he stays on the line. Every time.”

Following the FP1 incident Magnussen was summoned to the stewards for “alleged impeding and a potentially dangerous manoeuvre”, resulting in a reprimand rather than a more severe sanction from the panel led by former F1 driver Derek Warwick.

“The Stewards reviewed in-car video, track video, marshalling data and car telemetry regarding the incident at 12:28 during FP1 between Car 20 [Magnussen] and Car 16 [Leclerc], and heard from the driver and team representative of Car 20,” said the FIA in a statement.

“The driver explained that he had received a yellow flag at Turn 10 and had aborted his lap. He was unaware that the flag had cleared and that the driver of Car 16 who was immediately behind him had not aborted his lap as he had not been in the sector when it was yellow.

“The Stewards accepted this explanation and found that there was not a case of Unnecessarily Impeding, and therefore not a breach of Art 31.5.

“However, the Stewards reviewed the manoeuvre of Car 20 at the entry to Turn 1, where the driver of Car 20 moved to the right in front of Car 16 which was overtaking at the time. While the cars avoided a collision, the Stewards deemed the manoeuvre to be potentially dangerous and unnecessary, and therefore a breach of Art 27.4.”

Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur said regarding the incident: “Are you asking me about this morning, last week or last year?

“It makes no sense to do something like this in free practice. I don’t want to say that it makes sense to do it in a race, but I could understand even though it’s stupid.

“But in free practice – it makes no sense.”

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