Magnussen escapes penalty after pit exit light infringement

Kevin Magnussen - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kevin Magnussen escaped a penalty despite exiting the pit lane under a red light during qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Renault Sport F1 driver had been under investigation for the offence, but the stewards decided that the light had changed to red too late for the Dane to stop in time, and deemed no action was necessary.

“Although the green light was extinguished and replace by the red light 2 seconds before the driver crossed the pit exit line, the team presented evidence that the dashboard light only turned to red 0.55 seconds prior to the car crossing the line,” said the stewards statement about the incident.

“Further, the driver explained that he looked at the trackside light on approach, it was green, then he focussed on the track ahead because there is a turn from the pit exit.  

“By the time his dashboard light came on it was too late to avoid crossing the line. The Team also radioed “red flag, red flag” but the car had passed the line.”

Magnussen will therefore keep his sixteenth place on the grid, having made it through to the second part of qualifying on Saturday, but he had headed into the session hoping to have been higher on the grid at the principality.

“It’s not great to be sixteenth; it’s about where we’ve been for most of the year whereas we were hoping for something better here,” reflected Magnussen, who edged out Marcus Ericsson and Jolyon Palmer in the closing stages of Q1 to make it through to Q2.

“In Monaco there is a high probability of crashes and maybe it’s going to rain too, so you never know what could happen tomorrow.”