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Formula 1 Monaco GP

Magnussen: "I shouldn't have trusted" Perez in Monaco F1 battle

Kevin Magnussen insists the big mistake he made in his Monaco Formula 1 crash with Sergio Perez was trusting his Red Bull rival would leave him room after seeing him.

Marshals remove the damaged car of Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20, after an opening lap crash

The Dane crashed out of the Monaco Grand Prix on the opening lap after he and Perez collided on the run up the hill after Ste. Devote.

Magnussen had tried to drag alongside his competitor but ran out of room as the pair clashed wheels – pitching them both into the barriers and out on the spot. Nico Hulkenberg also got caught up in the melee.

Having spent time since Monaco watching replays of the accident, Magnussen says he still does not understand why he was not given enough room because Perez knew he was there.

“I don't see Checo as a dirty driver or anything,” said Magnussen in Montreal on Thursday. “But I was surprised that he didn't leave me the room. Clearly, he was just pushing me to the wall to intimidate me and have me back out. But that's certainly not the way we should be racing.

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“He can't argue that he didn't see me. He saw me. There's no way around it. He did see me. So yeah, that is the reason I kept it flat - because I trusted that he would leave me the space since he'd seen me.”

Magnussen says that normal post-race analysis of incidents can often offer an alternative insight into who was to blame for collisions – but he adds in this case he stands by his original verdict that Perez was mainly at fault.

“I've looked at it many times,” he said. “It's always one thing right when it happens, but your view of what happens often changes when you see it from the outside. But in this case, it didn't change so much.”

Watch: F1 2024 Monaco GP Review – Leclerc Finally Breaks the Curse

Magnussen explains that there was no way he would have stayed alongside Perez had he not been absolutely sure that the Mexican was aware of his presence.

“He had seen me, and I knew he had seen me,” he said. “It’s one thing if you're not sure he's seen you, then I perceive the risk as being bigger.

“If I wasn't sure that he's seen me, I probably would have just backed off. But it was very clear to me that he had seen me. So, I thought okay, he's going to leave a car width. I trusted that he was going to do that – in hindsight, I shouldn't have trusted him.

“But that doesn't change the fact that he didn't leave a car width. Maybe with my experience, I should have known that certain drivers don't always leave a car width. There is always a risk that they won't.”

Magnussen also reckoned that once he had got his front wheel up to a certain point alongside the Red Bull, then it was beyond the moment where he could safely back out.

“You get to a point where you're so close to the wall, and his rear wheel comes out, so you're locked in - because if you brake then, he's going to hit your front wheel with his rear.

“There is a point of no return and you're at his mercy. Leading up to that, I had full confidence that he had seen me because as soon as I got that momentum, he went to the right to cover me.

“You can see his head. You know, he's seen me - there's no doubt. I can go and look at his onboard afterwards - and I can see that he's checking his mirror several times. Had I not been confident that he'd seen me, I would have probably backed out.”

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