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Penalties After Miami Hulkenberg Doesn't Understand

Penalties After Miami : Hulkenberg ‘Doesn’t Understand’ the Controversy

17/05/2024

The FIA is set to review its penalty system following Kevin Magnussen‘s unsporting driving in Miami, which sparked controversy. Changes aim to prevent repeat offenses and ensure fair racing.

Kevin Magnussen’s driving, deemed unsporting at Miami, continues to stir reactions in the paddock.

In Florida, the Dane did everything to protect his teammate Nico Hülkenberg. Everything, meaning squeezing and blocking the cars chasing him.

In addition to time penalties, Kevin Magnussen is now just 2 points away from a race suspension (the number of points remaining on his license).

Magnussen publicly admitted that his penalties were deserved but fully accepted them. After all, it allowed Nico Hülkenberg to score points.

Moreover, the German from Haas F1 is on the same page: every point is invaluable, and a few penalties are ultimately not too costly to ensure a good position in the Constructors’ Championship.

“I don’t know exactly how these penalties were accumulated in each incident, but sometimes I think Kevin has received a few penalties over the past year and a half that weren’t really fair or necessary.”

“For me, in Miami, he was racing for 8th place in the Sprint, which is one point, and for us, that’s real value and money.”

“So I wasn’t surprised that he fought the way he did, and it wasn’t just for me, probably a combination of both.”

“But everyone knows that Kevin Magnussen is one of the toughest guys on the track, and to be honest, I don’t understand all this fuss around him.”

Magnussen says he over-defended to protect Nico Hülkenberg… but the latter, perhaps out of ego, downplays it: he didn’t need his teammate’s help! Kevin Magnussen will surely appreciate that…

“I think this is where I don’t quite agree with Kevin.”

“At that moment, I was already well ahead and would have secured my position. I was ‘safe’ anyway.”

“He was more… he was still fighting for himself personally at that point as well. So, I think we need to distinguish between the two.”

How to Avoid Another ‘Magnussen Incident’ and What Will the FIA Decide?

The FIA might evolve the penalty system following the incidents caused by Kevin Magnussen in Miami (and Jeddah).

Some have suggested a solution: penalizing such behaviors with a ‘drive-through’ to neutralize the position on track of the offender (thus relegating them to the back of the pack, preventing them from hindering other competitors).

“Yes, once again, I’m not so… maybe I should know more, but I try to stay out of it and it’s already quite overwhelming for me,” sighs Nico Hülkenberg on the matter.

“But I think a lot of time passes before penalties are effective, right? I think we could review and probably restructure some of them.”

A meeting is scheduled for this Friday in Imola to discuss changes to the regulations.

The initial penalties would be applied ‘normally’ (typically 10 seconds).

Apparently, the FIA is unlikely to implement immediate drive-through penalties. This measure would present practical challenges, such as tracking the real-time positions and standings of all 20 cars.

However, the FIA is expected to give more leeway to the stewards. In case of repeated offenses, they could be encouraged to impose exponential sanctions instead of accumulating 10-second penalties. Penalties could also be harsher if a driver has not yielded a position voluntarily after over-defending or overtaking outside track limits. The sincerity or insincerity of a driver would thus be part of the final judgment equation.

In short, no automatic drive-through, but it could be possible among other sanctions in case of repeated offenses.

Penalties After Miami : Hulkenberg 'Doesn't Understand'

Penalties After Miami : Hulkenberg ‘Doesn’t Understand’ the Controversy. Penalties After Miami : Hulkenberg ‘Doesn’t Understand’ the Controversy

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