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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

Haas F1 driver Magnussen feels he's been penalised for driving "outside of some white lines"

Haas Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen feels he has been penalised for "driving outside of some white lines" as he faces a ban in the coming races.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team

Magnussen's last three race outings – the Chinese GP, Miami sprint and Miami GP – brought him from three licence penalty points to 10, just two short of the FIA's limit for F1 drivers earning a race ban. This was introduced into the FIA's superlicence system in 2014.

While his Shanghai and main Miami race penalties were considered slam dunk cases given Magnussen's actions put Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant out respectively in those events, his driving in the Miami sprint really ignited this saga.

His battling efforts to keep Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton behind meant Magnussen was handed three 10-second time penalties for repeatedly leaving the track and gaining advantages, plus one five-second penalty and a black-and-white warning flag for additional track limits abuse.

Later, he was investigated over his actions and post-race comments possibly being considered unsportsmanlike behaviour.

This all followed Magnussen using similar hard-racing tactics back in March's Jeddah race to prevent rivals from moving clear and catching his Haas team-mate, Nico Hulkenberg.

On the eve of this weekend's Imola event, it was revealed that the FIA is now considering altering F1's sporting rules to mean such transgressions will accrue more costly drive-through sanctions.

Inevitably as he faced F1's media corps in the pre-event press conference for this weekend's Emilia-Romagna GP, Magnussen was repeatedly asked about the situation.

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

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

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

After confirming that he'll "have to" race differently to avoid getting any more penalty points and "be careful not to get a race ban", Magnussen questioned the stewards' decisions regarding his actions in the Miami sprint.

"The fact that I'm at risk of a race ban for driving outside of some white lines – on a piece of Tarmac – I don't know if I feel that that is right," said Magnussen.

"But it is the way the rules are. I accept that but I feel there is room for improvement there.

"Not only in terms of the [penalty] points. There are more races now than there was back when they were introduced and I feel you can end up getting a race ban effectively for a very minor thing. That's what I feel."

When asked by Autosport if he supported the FIA move to drive-through sanctions, Magnussen instead offered an alternative solution.

"I think the best thing would be for the FIA to tell us to give back positions and then the consequence for not doing that being harsh," he explained.

"Like, really harsh – so you make sure that that's being done. Because I think it firstly gets too complicated and also too big a consequence for [that infraction]. You have to be able to leave a little bit of room to go over the limit and then come back from that.

"Whereas now, if they judge it to be an unfair advantage and it's a drive-through penalty, I think that's not good."

There are additional threads to follow through this saga.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The first is that the update to F1's racing rules for 2024 meant off-track moves such as Magnussen's against Hamilton were to be penalised with 10s penalties and not 5s as previously. The FIA has also introduced a more comprehensive set of guidelines for how racing clashes are assessed by its stewards.

Magnussen reckons his experience of racing in different categories – his IndyCar and IMSA forays in 2021-early-2022 – highlights "with the guidelines this year, some of that is going against the natural racing dynamic that we've all learned from young kids".

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"I've raced in IndyCar and I love the way they race over there," he said. "And I feel the rules are very clear and very simple, and the racing is great.

"The racing has to be great amongst the 20 best drivers in the world [in F1]. I think that is also part of [this].

"One thing is that the F1 drivers are fast but also very good at racing. And I think you have to showcase that – that has to be part of it. We all came from karting and learned to race each other.

"And I feel now certainly for myself with the guidelines this year, some of that is going against like the natural racing dynamic that we've all learned from young kids.

"But that's a separate issue to the going off and holding people back and all the stuff that I got penalties for. I think that that can be solved with telling us to give back positions and the penalty for not doing being very, very harsh."

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