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Formula 1 Emilia Romagna GP

F1 weighs up rule change to stop Magnussen-style racing tactics

Formula 1 teams and the FIA will evaluate a potential rule change to eradicate the controversial tactics that have put Kevin Magnussen under the spotlight this year, Motorsport.com has learned.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24, Yuki Tsunoda, RB F1 Team VCARB 01, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Twice this season, in Saudi Arabia and Miami, Magnussen has acted as rear-gunner for his Haas team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in holding up rivals behind him – even if it has meant running wide on occasion.

In Miami, his antics earned him three 10-second penalties for leaving the track and gaining an advantage – as well as penalty points that have left him on the verge of a race ban.

The Dane was subsequently investigated, and cleared, of potential unsportsmanlike behaviour for what he did – although rivals like McLaren’s Andrea Stella felt his actions were worthy of a ban.

As part of the stewards’ explanation in Miami for what Magnussen did, they suggested there should be a potential change to the rules that would allow penalties to be escalated in the case of repeat offenders.

The stewards wrote: “Moving forward, the stewards will need to consider if, in appropriate situations, especially in the case of repeat infringements, the penalties to be applied for each infringement need to be increased to discourage scenarios such as those that we found today.

“This is something that we will raise explicitly with the FIA and the stewarding team.”

Motorsport.com has learned that, in response to the stewards’ request, the matter was discussed in the team manager’s meeting at the Imola Grand Prix to understand if there was a consensus to get a rule change in place.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

It was agreed that it should be looked at, but not rushed in to force in case it triggered unintended consequences.

Instead, the matter will be put on the agenda for the next meeting of F1’s Sporting Advisory Committee which discusses rule changes to debate and evaluate such matters.

In the meantime, it is understood that the FIA stewards have been encouraged to make use of the possibility to hand out drive-through penalties, rather than the standard 10-second time penalty, for situations where drivers have gained a position unfairly.

Speaking at Imola earlier in the weekend, Magnussen felt a better solution would be for race control to tell drivers to give their positions back.

“The best thing would be for the FIA to tell us to give back positions, and then the consequence for not doing that being harsh,” he explained.

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“Like, really harsh – so you make sure that that's being done. Because I think it firstly gets too complicated and also too big a consequence for [that infraction]. You have to be able to leave a little bit of room to go over the limit and then come back from that.

“Whereas now, if they judge it to be an unfair advantage and it's a drive-through penalty, I think that's not good.”

It is understood that such ordering of the reversal of positions is not being considered.

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