Magnussen Critical of Räikkönen Actions in Qualifying but Finn Escapes Penalty


Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kevin Magnussen was critical of Kimi Räikkönen after the Finn cost him the opportunity of bettering ninth on the grid for the French Grand Prix, with the two running across one-another during the final stages of Qualifying at the Circuit Paul Ricard on Saturday.

The Haas F1 Team driver came across the Scuderia Ferrari racer in the opening sector of the lap during his final run in Q3 and managed to pass him, only for Räikkönen to race him down the Mistral Straight, and then got ahead of him into turn one on the following lap to ruin the Dane’s chances of a quick lap.

Magnussen was fuming over the radio, sending expletives back to his team as he was unable to better ninth when he felt he could have been at least a row further forward had he got a clean run.

“It was looking good,” said Magnussen.  “We got both cars into Q3, but then we didn’t get anything out of the session.

“It was a good performance up until Q3. I didn’t get a lap in Q3, I had Kimi (Räikkönen) overtake me on my fastest lap, then he let me by again. I had no idea what he was doing. It meant I didn’t do a lap in Q3.”

The stewards at Paul Ricard investigated Räikkönen for the incident but took no action, with the Finn not deemed to have ‘unnecessarily impeded’ Magnussen.

“The Stewards examined video evidence of the incident and the radio communication of both drivers concerned,” said the FIA statement.  “The Stewards heard from Kimi Raikkonen, the driver of car 7, Kevin Magnussen, the driver of car 20, and the team representatives.

“There is no doubt that the ‘push’ lap of car 20 was thwarted by the proximity of Car 7 which overtook car 20 just after it had started the lap. This was the last opportunity for each driver to achieve a fast lap in Q3.

“The Stewards noted that the driver of car 20 was unsure of the intentions of the driver of car 7 during the last half of the previous lap, where car 20 was on an ‘out’ lap and car 7 had aborted a push lap. Car 7 did slow towards the end of that lap but when compared to [sic] a previous out lap in Q3, there was a similar pattern of slowing in the same area.

“The Stewards are not of the view that the driver of car 7 ‘unnecessarily impeded’ car 20 (refer Article 31.5 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations). In addition, the Stewards do not consider that the driver of car 7 drove ‘unnecessarily slowly’ (refer Appendix L Chapter IV Article 2e of the International Sporting Code).

“Despite the negative effect the incident had on the lap of car 20, the Stewards decline to take any further action.

“All competitors are hereby reminded of their right to appeal certain decisions of the Stewards, as set out in the International Sporting Code and related regulations, including the time limits for such appeals.”