RB rage at Kevin Magnussen’s “unsportsmanlike” tactics and “meaningless” 20-second penalty

RB were not impressed with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen's tactics in the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Race
Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Haas VF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2,…

RB have accused rival driver Kevin Magnussen of “unsportsmanlike behaviour” with his tactics during the F1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The Haas driver was slapped with 20 seconds worth of penalties for contact with Alex Albon and then later gaining an unfair advantage by passing Yuki Tsunoda off track.

Magnussen’s double penalty ruined his race but he successfully slowed down his rivals enough to help Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg score a valuable point for the team in 10th place. 

The Dane’s tactics enraged the rebranded RB squad, who believe his bid to hold up his rivals cost Tsunoda a top-10 finish.

“Yuki was fighting for what could have been a P10 finish,” team principal Laurent Mekies said.

“He was then passed by Magnussen, who cut the track to do so and then slowed down the whole pack to let his team mate open a gap to pit in front of all of us.

“It made the penalty imposed on Magnussen meaningless, as it destroyed Yuki’s race.”

New RB racing director Alan Permane wants to talk with the FIA about the matter.

“Magnussen drove off the track to deliberately put himself in front of Yuki and then slowed him down by up to two seconds a lap, which allowed Hulkenberg, who hadn’t stopped yet, to create a gap and of course pit in front of all the cars behind,” he said.

“That, to me, doesn’t seem correct and is the very definition of unsportsmanlike behaviour. I’m sure we and other teams will talk to the FIA about it for future races.”

Meanwhile, Haas team principal Ayao Komatsu praised the job Magnussen did for the American outfit, describing it as “great teamwork”.

“Today was an amazing team effort and I’m so happy that it was from great teamwork,” he said. “We were fighting for P10 – one point – but against eight other drivers, so everything had to be perfect to take the opportunity.

“Today, Kevin got two penalties, but once we realised he was out of points contention, we made a great call and Kev drove fantastically to hold those guys back while setting a target lap time, and Nico drove faultlessly. It was a huge team effort, congratulations to everyone.”

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