Kevin Magnussen says he is the “first to admit” he has “overstepped the line” at some points during his Formula 1 career, but insists he is not the only driver to do so. 

The Haas driver has had a number of controversial scraps with his rivals over the years, including a heated post-race verbal exchange with Nico Hulkenberg after clashing on-track during the 2017 Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Magnussen also had notable run-ins with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso during qualifying for the 2018 Italian Grand Prix and Pierre Gasly at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix earlier that year. 

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Speaking in an Instagram live interview with Formula 1, the Dane defending his driving and stressed he is not the only driver to have pushed the boundaries. 

“There are certainly some drivers who have had some issues with it and complained about it and I’m the first to admit that I have overstepped the line at some points, but I don’t think I’m the only one who’s done that.”

Magnussen believes part of the reason stems from getting embroiled in midfield battles which he feels can at times be more intense than fights for positions further up the grid. 

“The thing is, the last few years, I’ve been battling right in the midfield and often in the midfield,” he explained. 

“If you’re in P10 and you’re getting caught from behind from P11 or the other way round… there’s that one point to gain… and there’s not really a lot to lose. I’ve had had very tough battles for P10. Some of them were over the limit.

“The way I see it is: You’ve got to take it to the limit, not over the limit, for sure, but you’ve got to take it to the limit with your driving style. 

“You have to not take it over the line but to the line, but sometimes that can be hard to find; certainly it’s better to take it under not over.”