Charlie Whiting has told the drivers he does believe Kevin Magnussen’s ‘block’ on Charles Leclerc during the early stages of the Japanese Grand Prix was ‘too late’, and hindsight should have earned the Dane a sanction from the FIA.
The Haas F1 Team driver avoided any kind of penalty after Leclerc struck the back of his car on the run down to turn one after he jinked to the to right in response to the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team getting a run on him as they battled for position, with the contact effectively ruining both races.
Ahead of this weekend’s United States Grand Prix, FIA race director Whiting spoke to the drivers about what happened and feels that Magnussen DID move too late in response to Leclerc’s attack, and feels he should have earned a penalty.
“Charlie told us that he agreed that Magnussen probably moved a little bit too late,” said Racing Point Force India F1 Team’s Sergio Pérez to Motorsport.com.
“I think he moved just a little bit too late, given the speed differences, but it’s always a bit difficult with these mirrors as well to see the difference in speed.”
Pérez’s team-mate Esteban Ocon revealed that Magnussen himself agreed that the reactive move to Leclerc’s attack was made too late, and that in future, different calls from race control are likely to happen if similar circumstances occur.
“They said that Kevin did move too late, definitely, and it was not very safe,” said Ocon. “So probably things are going to change. I’ve seen it, and I was the same in Sochi, and we touched as well.
“Everybody agreed. Kevin agreed he was too late, he said it to Charlie.”