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Why Magnussen is racing rest of 2024 season under threat of F1 race ban

Kevin Magnussen is racing for the rest of the Formula 1 season under the threat of a race ban following the latest penalty points being added to his licence.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Dane had an incident-filled time in Miami last weekend as he got involved in skirmishes in both the sprint and the grand prix.

But it was the two penalty points he was given for colliding with Logan Sargeant in the race that has left him with a total on 10 on his licence – meaning he is just two away from an automatic race ban.

Should he hit the mark and earn any more points over the remainder of the campaign, then he will become the first driver to fall foul of the totting up process.

Remarkably, Magnussen had come into the 2024 campaign with no points on his licence, and everything has been earned since his controversial driving at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix where he collided with Alex Albon.

With points staying on a drivers’ licence for a period of 12 months, it means his first lot will not be wiped away until March 9, 2025 – which is the week before next year’s season gets underway in Australia.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Magnussen’s 10 penalty points have been earned from four incidents this year. They are:

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

For being predominantly to blame for a crash with RB’s Yuki Tsunoda

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

For being wholly to blame for a collision with Logan Sargeant

As well as being given penalty points, Magnussen’s driving has been under the spotlight on occasion too when he has adopted some robust defending against rivals in a bid to help act as a road block to protect his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.

In Miami, he was summoned to face allegations of unsportsmanlike behaviour for how he drove in the sprint, but the FIA stewards felt that he had not acted with such bad faith that it warranted a separate sanction.

McLaren team principal Andrea Stella was outspoken, however, in saying that repeat offences needed to be treated more harshly.

"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," Stella said.

"How can penalties be accumulative? They should be exponential. It is not five 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.”

However, being so close to a ban means that Magnussen may now think twice before doing anything out of the ordinary because he knows the risk could be real of the stewards handing him some more penalty points.

It could explain why he was uncharacteristically monosyllabic in the post-race media pen in Miami on Sunday after learning about the penalty he picked up for the Sargeant collision.

Here is how his conversation went;

What are your thoughts on the Logan situation?
KM: I better not... better not comment.

So you are not happy?
KM: No.

Do you think the penalty was incorrect?
KM: Better not comment.

So I take it you don't want to comment on Stella's comments about you?
KM: You're right.

Okay. Do you need some answers and clarity on racing rules?
KM: Yeah.

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