Haas team principal Guenther Steiner and Kevin Magnussen not happy with the penalty, Red Bull Racing’s Christian Horner OK but Alexander Albon calls it 50-50.
The incident between Albon and Magnussen generated mixed reactions but the general consensus was that the Thai racer did make a collision which resulted in a DNF for the Dane. Had he not retired, the consensus would have been different.
From Haas point of view, Steiner felt the penalty of five seconds was too less for Albon, who recovered to finish eighth while Magnussen retired immediately. He compared it with the 10 seconds penalty they had in Hungary, where they already lost places by pitting.
“The penalty system is not working right,” said Steiner to media including Racefans.net, Motorsport Network, BBC, Reuters and more. “In Hungary, we come into the pits before the race and penalised ourselves because we decided to start from pitlane, we get 10 seconds, here we get taken out on the first lap.
“Obviously it was his Albon’s fault because he got a penalty but it was five-seconds and we were out of the race. In Hungary, we didn’t damage anybody, and we didn’t get an advantage really because we penalised ourselves by starting from pitlane. We talked with the drivers, in the circumstances, it’s very unclear in the regulations.
“It’s from 2017, I think we need to look into getting that a little more closed up, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime all the time. We get punished 10 seconds, but by punishing ourselves 10 seconds additionally, it seems always that I complain about it, but I think there are situations where we are just more exposed to these things.
“We took a brave decision to stay out with Grosjean in Silverstone, we’re the only one but that mixed it up a little bit. We’re not trying to make it boring, we take decisions which can we can live with the consequences you can see. Bit of like living with the consequences getting the penalties for it,” summed up Steiner.
Magnussen, meanwhile, had similar thoughts and felt Albon was too greedy and that he would have passed him anyhow later in the race with a faster car than Haas. “By the time I saw him, it was way too late for me to really give him any room,” he said.
“I think it would have been very easy for him to wait. He had a way faster car, he would have easily gone past me anyway. I don’t think he would have had a very difficult time if he had not taken that huge risk right there.
“He would have probably done it the next corner even. Clearly it wasn’t any bad intentions from him, just I think poorly judged.” On the other hand, Albon, felt it was more 50-50 as Magnussen did not have a great entry into the corner in his twitching Haas.
“We were little fortunate to get some places due to punctures, it was an OK race,” said Albon. “With the penalty, it was 50-50 to me, Kevin went off the track and by the time he came on, there was space initially. When he came on, at that point, I don’t know if he didn’t see me but I tried to pull away but we touched.
“We had slight damage but the pace throughout the race was not too bad, obviously, we had to do a lot this weekend, so P8 is not what I want but it is a damage limitation.” Albon’s team boss Horner viewed it as same but was OK with the penalty.
“I think for me, that was a racing incident,” said Horner. “If you look at it from the beginning, Kevin made a mistake, he got out wide, Alex put his nose in there and then he sort of backed out a little bit. So it was one of those things.
“I wasn’t too surprised with the penalty, it could have gone either way. But then I thought his recovery from there was excellent, we’ve seen it on numerous occasions, his ability to come back through the field. His pace in the race was very good.
“We just need to have a straightforward, boring weekend for him. I thought, once again, he’s driven a very strong grand prix.” The incident with Albon comes at a time when the Thai racer is already under pressure for delivering results. He has had some supreme fightbacks as Horner said but he will need a clean run to get retained.
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