‘Aggressive’ Magnussen Downplays Criticism Amid Lack of Penalties

Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Despite appearing to gain a reputation for being an aggressive driver during the 2017 Formula 1 season, Kevin Magnussen feels the lack of penalties he got meant he must be doing something right, and only Nico Hülkenberg of his fellow drivers had anything to say directly to him about his driving style.

The Dane joined the Haas F1 Team at the beginning of 2017 in place of Esteban Gutierrez, and secured five top-ten finishes, with his best result coming in Azerbaijan when he finished seventh, but Magnussen was often criticised for his aggressive driving.

Hülkenberg approached him during the post-race interviews at the Hungarian Grand Prix after the Renault Sport Formula 1 Team racer was pushed off track whilst attempting an overtake late in the race, but when asked whether any of the drivers on the grid had spoken to him about his aggressiveness, he revealed it was only Hülkenberg who had.

“No – apart from Hülkenberg,” said Magnussen on Racer. “It’s been a bit strange this year, a lot of people complain and I haven’t got that many penalties.

“I must be doing something right; that’s how I see it.”

Magnussen admitted that he had to show more aggressive driving at the start of Grand Prix in 2017 thanks to his lowly Qualifying efforts, with the Dane knowing he would need to take chances in order to be in with the possibility of a top ten finish.

“My approach this year was to give everything on the first lap otherwise you’re not going to be anywhere,” said Magnussen. “If you find yourself P16 on the first lap, then it’s gonna be a long race.

“You have to give everything and take chances. You might sometimes not get it right, but often this year I’ve got it right on the first lap. From there, you have to fight everything you have.

“Who cares? Nothing to lose. If you don’t get a point, you might as well not start the race, that’s all we are here to do. I am not here to finish outside the points.”