Kevin Magussen has been handed a three place grid penalty by the United States Grand Prix stewards for impeding Sergio Pérez in yesterday’s qualifying session.
The Dane was coasting through Turns 13 and 14 during Q1 when Pérez approached on a flying lap, leading the Force India driver to complain vociferously over the radio. Magnussen said he was caught unaware by Pérez’s speed, not knowing he was on a hot lap as he approached.
“I was told that he was on an out-lap so I didn’t let him through, so I can understand if he’s pretty angry with that,” Magnussen said in the press pen.
“I can only say it was a mistake. I’m sorry about that. I definitely impeded his lap so that gives you a penalty, so I’m expecting a penalty.”
Though Pérez was able to progress through to Q3 despite the early hindrance, he insisted it had harmed his chances later in the qualifying session.
“It cost me an extra set of tyres in Q1 and it meant I went into Q3 with just a single set of fresh tyres,” he explained. “I had to do my final lap on used tyres and had to settle for tenth place”
Magnussen was handed not only a three place grid drop for today’s race, but a single penalty point to go with it, bringing his tally up to eight in the last 12 months.
“The driver of car 20 admitted he had impeded car 11, and the team admitted it had inadvertently incorrectly advised the driver that [Perez] was on an out lap. The driver and team apologised to the driver of car 11 for the error,” read a statement from the FIA stewards.
Much like Lance Stroll, who was also penalised three places for blocking a driver in Q1, he moves forwards instead of backwards on the grid. He qualified dead last in Q1, but starts 18th after more severe penalties for component changes were levied upon Nico Hülkenberg and Brendon Hartley.