Kevin Magnussen insists his respect for Formula 1 rival Fernando Alonso remains “very big” and has not been damaged by a number of incidents between the pair this season.

The Haas driver hit out at Alonso after their squabble in qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix in September, labelling the Spaniard as “disrespectful” and saying he “can’t wait” for him to retire.

It followed a series of on-track clashes during the British Grand Prix weekend, with Magnussen comparing Alonso’s radio complaints to Neymar’s antics at the 2018 football World Cup.

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But speaking ahead of last weekend's Brazilian Grand Prix, Magnussen stressed his respect for the McLaren driver had not been tarnished this year.

“My respect for Fernando as a driver is very big,” Magnussen said. “There’s no doubt he’s definitely one of the best drivers on the grid.

“Even though we’ve had some tough fights and a few arguments, there’s no damage to my respect for him as a driver.”

Magnussen currently sits five points clear of Alonso in ninth place in the 2018 drivers’ standings heading into the season finale in Abu Dhabi, which will mark Alonso’s last race before quitting F1.

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