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Official Magnussen Cleared of Further Sanctions by FIA

Official: Magnussen Cleared of Further Sanctions by FIA

05/05/2024

In a decisive move, the FIA has opted not to impose additional penalties on Kevin Magnussen, despite allegations of unsportsmanlike conduct on the track.

Kevin Magnussen has emerged relatively unscathed! The Haas F1 driver had initially received a penalty of three points for each off-track advantage gained during his battle with Lewis Hamilton in the Miami Grand Prix Sprint.

However, the Danish driver was also summoned for alleged unsportsmanlike behavior after he was seen deliberately driving his rivals off the track. Such behavior could have led to an additional three penalty points, considering the FIA’s current strictness.

Had he received such a penalty, Magnussen would have seen his total rise to 11 points, out of the 12 that trigger a race suspension. Indeed, his earlier penalty of the day had already brought his total to eight points, a significant amount as they all stem from this season.

But the stewards accepted the driver’s apologies during the hearing, and his demeanor in interviews. Indeed, while he admitted to reckless driving to protect his teammate Nico Hülkenberg, he also regretted “stupid tactics that I don’t like to use.”

“We therefore wanted to determine whether the driver of car 20 had deliberately violated the rules to benefit his team or teammate, and if so, whether such behavior constituted a violation of Article 12.2.1.L of the FIA International Sporting Code,” wrote the stewards’ office.

“We had a lengthy hearing with the driver of car 20 and the team representative before the stewards to understand their perspective on what happened. The driver candidly explained that he believed he had the right to contest car 44 in the way he did and was prepared to accept what he considered standard penalties that would have been imposed for any infractions committed while fighting for position.”

“He also believed that creating a gap between himself and the cars ahead was perfectly within the rules, and it is not uncommon for a driver to try to aid his teammate during a race by doing so.”

A set of decisions that even casts doubt within the FIA itself

This is how the stewards decided not to impose a penalty on Magnussen, and they detail the points that motivated their decision not to add a penalty to the Dane.

“We have reviewed the matter and concluded the following:

  1. The standard for establishing unsportsmanlike behavior must undoubtedly be high.
  2. In circumstances such as this, there must be clear evidence of an intention to behave in a manner that can be described as unsportsmanlike, because a finding of unsportsmanlike conduct is serious.”
  1. Although we disagree with the manner in which car 20 was driven, particularly with the repeated infractions of leaving the track, we do not believe the actions reached the level of unsportsmanlike behavior.”

However, the FIA is questioning the linear nature of penalties in the event of repeated infractions. Indeed, Magnussen received ten seconds and one point for each off-track excursion, but the stewards are considering the need for a progressive and exponential scale to deter drivers from misconduct.

“That said, in the future, the stewards will need to consider whether, in appropriate situations, especially in cases of repeated infractions, the penalties for each infraction should be increased to discourage scenarios such as those we have observed today. This is an issue we will explicitly raise with the FIA and the team of stewards.”

Official Magnussen Cleared of Further Sanctions by FIA

Official: Magnussen Cleared of Further Sanctions by FIA. Official: Magnussen Cleared of Further Sanctions by FIA

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