F1 star on verge of race ban after ‘unacceptable’ Lewis Hamilton incident

Kevin Magnussen is in hot water over his controversial race tactics (Photo: Getty)

Kevin Magnussen is very close to picking up a one-race ban after using ‘completely unacceptable’ tactics at the Miami Grand Prix.

In Formula 1, drivers will be banned for one grand prix if they accrue 12 penalty points on their superlicence over a 12-month period, though no driver has ever done this since the rule was introduced in 2014.

But Magnussen might become the first having picked up a staggering 10 in the six races since the season started in March.

As a result, the Haas star must avoid receiving another two points over the remaining 18 races in 2024 – a near-impossible task.

Should he receive a ban, Haas reserve driver and British teenager Oliver Bearman will take his place having made an impressive debut when he stood in for Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz in Saudi Arabia back in March.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Williams’ Logan Sargeant on eight are the next likeliest to get a ban, though some of their points will expire later in the year.

Magnussen picked up five points alone in Miami last weekend: Three for repeatedly leaving the track while fighting Sir Lewis Hamilton in the sprint race, and two for crashing into Sargeant in the main event.

On several occasions this season, the Dane has been forced to use what he described as ‘stupid tactics’ in order to hold off opponents, thus allowing teammate Nico Hulkenberg to finish in the points.

The strategy has worked well with Haas scoring a respectable seven points so far in 2024, which has left them seventh in the standings ahead of their main rivals.

But McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was scathing of Magnussen and demanded that the 31-year-old be suspended for his antics, saying: ‘We have a case of behaviour being intentional in terms of damaging another competitor and this behaviour is perpetuated within the same race and repeated over the same season.

‘How can penalties be accumulative? They should be exponential. It is not five [seconds] plus five plus five equals 15.

‘Five plus five plus five equals maybe you need to spend a weekend at home with your family and reflect on your sportsmanship and then go back…

‘It is completely unacceptable. It makes no sense from a sportsmanship point of view and this should be addressed immediately.



Kevin Magnussen’s penalty points in 2024:

Saudi Arabia GP – 3 points

For being wholly or predominantly to blame for a collision with Alex Albon

Chinese GP – 2 points

For being predominantly to blame for a crash with Yuki Tsunoda

Miami Sprint – 3 points

For leaving the track and gaining an advantage during his battle with Lewis Hamilton

Miami GP – 2 points

For being wholly to blame for a collision with Logan Sargeant

‘If you are out of the points, getting 20 seconds or whatever doesn’t make any difference. But for the competitors you have damaged, you have put them out of their race in a deliberate, perpetuated and repeated way.’

Conversely, Hamilton had nothing but respect for what Magnussen did in the sprint, saying: ‘That’s what you do to work as a team, so bravo.’

The former McLaren and Renault driver himself said: ‘All the penalties [in the sprint] were well deserved – no doubt about it. But I had to play the [team] game again.

‘I started using these stupid tactics which I don’t like doing, but at the end of the day I did my job as a team player and Nico scored his points because I got that gap for him so Lewis and [Yuki] Tsunoda couldn’t catch him.

‘Not the way I like to go racing at all, but it was what I had to do.’

He would not comment on his crash with Sargeant however and will be hoping to have an incident-free race at the next grand prix in Imola on 19 May.

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