Kevin Magnussen believes the recent spate of Formula 1 pit stop blunders are simply the result of teams pushing the limits and insists reliability and safety need to take priority over speed. 

Friday’s second practice session at the Chinese Grand Prix saw the latest issue occur, with Stoffel Vandoorne released unsafely after his right-rear wheel was not correctly fitted to his MCL33 - causing the Belgian to stop on circuit in the closing stages of FP2.

It follows high-profile incidents during the opening two races of 2018, as Haas suffered a double DNF following its pit stops at the Melbourne season-opener, before Kimi Raikkonen left a Ferrari mechanic with a double leg fracture after accidentally hitting the crew member as he exited his pit box area in Bahrain

Ferrari was fined €50,000 for its second botched pit stop at Sakhir - following Raikkonen's stoppage in FP2 - with Haas and McLaren racking up €5,000 bills for their own incidents. While he feels safety is during pit stops is paramount, Magnussen does not want to see any knee-jerk reactions from the FIA in response to the recent flurry of problems. 

“No - teams have to back off and get into a more safe area,” Magnussen replied when asked if he feels the FIA needs to take action. “This is what happens when you have competition - you push the limits and then you find the limit and you go a little bit back. 

“The pit stops have become extremely fast now, and now I think we are getting to the limit where they’re difficult to get any faster, so you have to at some point stop pushing to get faster and get just more reliable and safe.”

Romain Grosjean agreed with his Haas teammate, adding pit stops provide “spicy” moments of grand prix racing. 

“We know motorsport is dangerous, not only for drivers but for everyone involved,” the Frenchman said. When you come in 80kph in the pitlane and you miss your braking point… I’ve hit my mechanic once and we try to be as careful as we can but I think the pit stop is quite a spicy moment of the race.

“I think pit stop is part of the race. It brings excitement and you know. We’re not running out of fuel, we’re not blowing the engine on the last lap, we’re not losing suspension, so the pitstop is a spicy part of the race and it’s good for the boys as well because they are really involved in the race because they are part of it.”



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