Haas F1 Team’s Guenther Steiner reckons the complaints by rival drivers and teams for aggressive driving by Kevin Magnussen doesn’t help the Dane with his racing.
It has become normal now for Magnussen to be in the news these days – but unfortunately all for the wrong reasons. It is often that his rivals call him out for his driving style in the races. Despite the regular complaints, it is rare for the Dane to be penalised though.
In fact, Magnussen has only three penalty points on his superlicense in the one year period which is same as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Interestingly, ten of his rivals on the current grid have more penalty points on their license than Magnussen.
The Dane came under fresh scrutiny in the Japanese GP when Sauber’s Charles Leclerc called him stupid’ while team boss Frederic Vassuer marked his move while battling Leclerc as ‘dangerous’. The stewards though cleared him of any charge.
The stewards explained the incident through frame-by-frame video where the movement by both the drivers was caught at the similar moment albeit only fractionally apart. It came before the braking point which cleared Magnussen of moving under braking.
When asked Steiner if the constant picking of the Dane affects him in his race craft, the Haas boss agreed to it, adding that the following radio calls like Leclerc’s sometimes influences the stewards towards the other driver.
“I don’t think it [the criticisms] helps him,” said Steiner after Japanese GP. “It is difficult to say [if the rivals’ calls affect the stewards]. It shouldn’t influence but there are a lot of factors – people getting on the radio and ranting about stuff.
“It normally [could] influence the stewards quite a bit and we normally don’t do that because we hope people are grown up enough [to understand]. Some people use it, we know the candidates of that one but it is down to the stewards.
“If they do a bad job and get influenced, other people face the consequences.” The Dane sits eighth in the drivers’ standings but is tied on 53 points with seventh placed Sergio Perez and ninth placed Nico Hulkenberg.
Magnussen has rubbed shoulders with almost all the midfield drivers this year and in some occasions with the top teams drivers too. The Dane does drive aggressively but as per the stewards, it is usually deemed as racing incidents.