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Kevin Magnussen

Magnussen escapes stewards' wrath but FIA face call for change

Kevin Magnussen was sent to the stewards after the Miami Grand Prix Sprint race, held at the Miami International Autodrome.

Magnussen Miami
To news overview © XPBimages

Kevin Magnussen has not received a penalty after the stewards investigated him for alleged unsportsmanlike behaviour during the Miami Grand Prix Sprint race.

The Haas driver amassed 35 seconds worth of time penalties during the second sprint race of 2024, during a heated battle with Lewis Hamilton for eighth place, with Magnussen attempting to defend for team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in seventh.

He also picked up three penalty points, taking his tally to eight for the 12 month period.

He went off the track and gained an advantage by cutting the chicane and also forced Hamilton off at Turn 11, making contact with the Mercedes after rejoining, and claimed afterwards that he "did not like" using the "stupid" tactics he had been had done so to assist the team.

For this comment, the Dane was also summoned to the stewards for: "Alleged breach of Article 12.2.1.l of the International Sporting Code – Alleged unsportsmanlike behaviour."

Magnussen's verdict

After hold a lengthy meeting with Magnussen and the team representative to "investigate if the driver of Car 20 was deliberately flouting the regulations to gain an advantage for his team or his teammate and if so, whether such conduct would be an infringement of Article 12.2.1.L of the FIA International Sporting Code" the stewards ultimately decided on no further action.

The stewards explained that Magnussen had "candidly explained that he thought that he was entitled to race with [Hamilton] in the manner that he did" and was prepared to accept the usual penalties that come through how he drove.

Magnussen also believed that "it is was not uncommon for a driver to seek to assist his teammate" in the manner he did and that "he did not at any point in time think that what he was doing was wrong or that it was in any way unsportsmanlike."

In coming to their decision, the stewards believed that "the standard for establishing unsportsmanlike behaviour must undoubtedly be high" and that 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."

Whilst the stewards "disagreed" with how Magnussen drove, they felt he did not meet the mark required for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

However, the stewards also noted that they would need to consider in similar future cases if penalties applied for each infringement "need to be increased to discourage scenarios as those we found today," and that they would discuss it with the FIA and stewarding teams.

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