Formula 1

Magnussen Critical of Alonso Move that Ended Q3 Ambitions

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Kevin Magnussen - Haas F1 Team - Autodromo Nazionale Monza
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Kevin Magnussen insisted he should have been in the top ten shootout for the Italian Grand Prix but for the actions of Fernando Alonso, with both drivers tripping over each other heading into the first chicane at the end of Q2.

The Dane was just starting his final attempt at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza and was confident that he had the pace to join Haas F1 Team team-mate Romain Grosjean in Q3, but Alonso followed Magnussen down the straight before attempting to pass him in the braking zone.

Magnussen was unwilling to yield, and it ruined both their laps, resulting in an eleventh place start for the Haas driver and the McLaren F1 Team driver in thirteenth.

“We absolutely should’ve been in Q3 today,” said Magnussen.  “We clearly had the pace in the car. It’s Monza, and everything’s about slipstreaming and track position.

“I did my best lap in Q2 with absolutely no slipstream. I was the first car to get on track, therefore I was all by myself, and the lap I had was one hundredth of a second from getting me into Q3. So, if that was on my first attempt, I’m sure there was more in it.

“Unfortunately, on my last run in Q2 I was overtaken by Alonso, and I couldn’t then get a lap on that second set of tyres, which was crucial. It’s disappointing, but we’ll still have a good race and aim to score points again.”

Magnussen feels Alonso’s move was both stupid and unnecessary but there was never any chance that he was going to sacrifice his own lap for somebody else.

“I don’t care to speculate why he did it. I think it was just pretty stupid and not necessary,” said Magnussen.  “He thought he could have the perfect slipstream and overtake me.

“He gained, I don’t know how many tenths – but you gain a lot if you do that.  But I’m not going to let him pass me, and sacrifice my own lap. No way. I know he thinks he’s a god, but no way.”

Magnussen explained how the events unfolded, with a big group of cars all trying to find space ahead of their final attempt before he passed Alonso himself exiting the Ascari Chicane when the McLaren driver slowed to warm up his brakes.

“We were kind of six or eight cars, in a bit of a group,” explained Magnussen. “And at the exit of Ascari Fernando was warming his brakes, I think, so not going fast.

“And I’m going fast, so just cruised past him. But then for some reason he decides to try and accelerate and get close to me, rather than create a gap, as everyone else is doing.

“Obviously he got a perfect slipstream and thought he could overtake into Turn 1 – but I’d rather hang myself.”

Magnusen felt the way Alonso reacted after the session was disrespectful, and he finds it amusing that he puts so much praise on his own driving.

“He came to me after qualifying and laughed to my face,” said the Dane.  “Just outright disrespectful. Can’t wait for him to retire.

“He’s talking about his laps being divine and whatnot. He literally thinks he’s a god. It’s pretty amusing.”

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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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