Haas disputes that Magnussen’s Chinese F1 GP penalty was "justifiable"

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Haas disputes that Magnussen’s Chinese F1 GP penalty was "justifiable"


Magnussen was handed a 10-second penalty for hitting RB rival Yuki Tsunoda when the race restarted after the first safety car period.

Coming out of Turn 6, Magnussen appeared to oversteer and hit the right rear tire of Tsunoda’s car, sending the Japanese driver into a spin.

Damage to Tsunoda’s car forced him to immediately abandon the race while Magnussen managed to continue.

The Dane was deemed “mainly responsible” for the accident by the stewards, who imposed a 10-second penalty on him.

Komatsu believes the punishment was too harsh, as he believes it was simply a racing incident.

“I don’t think it’s justifiable. I think it’s just a racing incident,” said the Japanese team boss.

“He didn’t take Tsunoda off the track. He dove inside turn 6, he hit the apex, Tsunoda was wide, he still left the room, Tsunoda came back gradually.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Zhou Guanyu, Kick Sauber C44

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

“He’s not getting off track, so maybe the definition of ‘income’ might be wrong. But it’s not like Kevin is entirely to blame. For me, at least 50/50.”

“On the contrary, I think it’s more Tsunoda’s [fault]. Honestly, he didn’t turn into Tsunoda or anything. He dove in, hit the top, had a snap, but [it] did not change the direction of the car. He then did not take Tsunoda off the track.

“He still has room left. So why is it a penalty?”

Komatsu said that although the penalty was not appealable, the team would demand an explanation from race management as he did not agree with the decision.

Magnussen, who finished the race in 16th place after his penalty, felt there was nothing he could have done differently to avoid the incident.

“I don’t know. It seemed like he was going really far. And then he still made it stick. And I was kind of locked into my rotation. I really couldn’t do anything more. But they felt it was a penalty for me so that’s what it is.

He added: “I think I feel like I did what I could. When we made contact, the width of the car was big.” [on the outside].

“So I think we misread it a little bit, I guess. I have to watch it again. But for me, it might as well have been a racing incident.”

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