Magnussen: De Vries in “desperate situation” trying to save F1 future

Kevin Magnussen says that Nyck de Vries is in a “desperate situation” trying to save his AlphaTauri Formula 1 drive after the Dutchman was penalised for an incident in Austria.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04, off the circuit

De Vries was given a five-second time penalty and two points on his licence after the third on-track confrontation between the pair in two weekends became the first to draw the attention of the stewards.

In Montreal, both drivers came to a halt on the circuit after De Vries misjudged a move down the inside, but no action was taken by the FIA.

Early in the Austrian race, Magnussen said that de Vries had "completely pushed me off" when the Dane tried to pass him at Turn 4 following the safety car restart, and again no action was taken.

Another incident later in the race, when de Vries muscled past the Haas at Turn 4 and then held his line into Turn 6, saw Magnussen repeat his earlier accusation after being eased onto the gravel.

This time it was deemed to be a step too far by the FIA, with the stewards noting: "At and from the apex of Turn 6, car 20 was on the outside and was clearly level and then in front of car 21. In accordance with the driving standards guidelines, car 20 should have been given racing room."

"He got a penalty, right?" said Magnussen after the race. "So he did push me off.

"But he's racing for his future, and [is] maybe in a bit of a desperate situation. There's nothing I can say, really. He got a penalty, so it is what it is."

De Vries was eventually classified 17th and Magnussen 18th, with both drivers also receiving post-race track limits penalties.

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Nyck de Vries, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Alessio Morgese

"We happen to like each other when it comes to meeting each other on track!" said de Vries when asked by Autosport about the Magnussen incidents. "But I think it was hard racing.

"I'll take the penalty. It's not my entitlement to judge on that. The stewards gave me a penalty, and we took it.

"It's a little bit irrelevant what I think, I am not the person who decides whether I should get a penalty for it or not.

"We race hard, we're trying to find the limits, and sometimes it's beyond, sometimes it's below, and I got a five-second penalty for it."

Asked if he wanted to know why his move was penalised, de Vries stressed that every incident is different.

"These situations, I think they happen," he said. "Obviously, with Yuki [Tsunoda] and Zhou [Guanyu], with Max [Verstappen] and Carlos [Sainz], and they happen all the time.

"And each situation is judged slightly differently. And it's not so black and white. So obviously, we understand the rules, but you've got to push to the limit of the rules to make sure you don't lose out. And sometimes you go beyond, and sometimes you undershoot."

Meanwhile, Magnussen admitted that it had been a tough weekend for Haas, with the team gambling on a set-up change for the main race that saw him start from the pitlane.

"It was more a bit of an experiment," he said. "We were P19 anyway, and we knew the pace didn't look good, so why not just try something that actually will give us a bit of knowledge and answer some of the questions we have?

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

"It's probably the worst this season so far. I've finished last. I know I started in the pitlane but still, making no progress from last is not what this car is capable of.

"When you see the one-lap pace it has, it should be possible to have a better race than that."

Pushed on how the problems can be addressed, he said: "It's very complex. It's not one thing, it's a combination of things and it's a very complex thing to solve.

"But I have all faith in the team, and I do believe that we can turn it around and improve the situation."

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