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Formula 1 Miami GP

Miami GP stewards to raise F1 rules issue with FIA as Magnussen cleared

The Miami Grand Prix stewards plan to raise a potential change in application of Formula 1 penalties after clearing Kevin Magnussen of alleged unsportsmanlike behaviour in the sprint race.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

The Haas driver picked up three separate penalties in his battle with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton for leaving the track and gaining an advantage.

Magnussen's driving mirrored tactics he used in Saudi Arabia earlier this year where, once penalised, he was able to defend to such an extent that team-mate Nico Hulkenberg could cement a point-paying position. 

Following the sprint, Magnussen told Sky Sports F1 that “all the penalties were well deserved” and added: “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.”

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Having been handed three 10-second penalties for his infringements, Magnussen was summoned to the stewards to determine whether, given his comments in the TV pen, his antics amounted to unsportsmanlike behaviour.

A report from the stewards explained: "The driver candidly explained that he thought that he was entitled to race with Car 44 in the manner that he did and also that he was willing to accept what he considered to be standard penalties that would have been imposed on him for any infringements that occurred while he was battling for position.

"He was also of the view that building a gap between himself and the cars ahead was perfectly within the regulations and it was not uncommon for a driver to seek to assist his team-mate in the course of a race by doing so.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the grid

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"He did not at any point in time think that what he was doing was wrong or that it was in any way unsportsmanlike.

"He highlighted that the Stewards would typically not increase the severity of the penalties for repeat offences."

Change of rules inbound?

The stewards concluded that as there was "no clear evidence of an intention to behave in a manner that can be said to be unsportsmanlike" and due to the high standard set in determining unsportsmanlike actions no further action should be taken against Magnussen.

But the report made a point in noting that the stewards "disagreed" with the "way in which Car 20 was driven".

And given the repeat offences committed by Magnussen, the report suggested talks would be had over regulation tweaks in order to offer the stewards more power in increasing the severity of punishments to drivers.

The report continued: "Moving forward, the stewards will need to consider if, in appropriate situations, especially in the case of repeat infringements, the penalties to be applied for each infringement need to be increased to discourage scenarios such as those that we found today.

"This is something that we will raise explicitly with the FIA and the stewarding team."

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