Formula 1’s bad boy Kevin Magnussen has been given a three place grid penalty by FIA race stewards for blocking the Force India of Sergio Perez during the Q1 stanza of qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.
Magnussen slowed his Haas dramatically in Turn 11, late on in Q1, this impeded Perez who was on a flying lap. The Force India driver had no option but to lift off, waving in protest and declaring over his team radio: “What is Magnussen doing, he is always the same, very unprofessional.”
The FIA stewards immediately investigated the incident and were quick to hand out a a three-place grid drop as punishment to Magnussen.
The Dane accepted responsibility, “[Perez] was on a fast lap but I was told that he was on an out lap so I didn’t let him through. I can understand if he’s pretty angry about that.”
“I can only say it was a mistake and I’m sorry. I definitely impeded his lap and that gets you a penalty, so I’m expecting a penalty,” added the Dane who has attracted the wrath of several drivers during the course of this season for his on-track shenanigans.
Perez was still fuming after qualifying, “I am extremely disappointed – I had the pace to be at the very least P8 today, if not P7,” rued Perez after qualifying 10th. My qualifying was compromised massively by Magnussen – when he blocked me in Q1 I had to use an extra set [of tyres] which meant I went into Q3 with a single set. That hurt me a lot.”
“Obviously he didn’t do it on purpose but they – him or Haas – are quite often getting it wrong, getting the information wrong. I think it’s something they have to improve at,” added Perez.
Magnussen was also handed one penalty point on his superlicence, meaning he now has eight for the current 12-month period. Drivers collecting 12 penalty points. over the course of 12 months, receives an automatic one-race ban.