Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Vettel and Hulkenberg “did the right thing” by passing Verstappen – Magnussen

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen says the drivers who overtook other cars to ensure they got their qualifying lap done “did the right thing”, despite Max Verstappen criticising them.

The Red Bull driver accused Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg of spoiling his attempt to set a time at the end of qualifying by overtaking him. Verstappen accused them of violating a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ but Magnussen said, “in the end if they got the lap then they did the right thing.”

Magnussen also failed to reach the start/finish line in time to start his last qualifying run.

“It was pretty messy towards the end of the lap,” he explained. “Everyone was trying to get started but also have somebody in front and it ended up just being too much and cost a few guys the lap.

“Everyone also went out at exactly the same time out of the pits. We were in front of each other and it was already a bit tight and then towards the tend of the lap you didn’t know whether to try to overtake people, in which case they’re going to try to defend.”

However Magnussen said he wouldn’t pass another driver on an out-lap to interfere with their qualifying effort.

“I didn’t want to be an arsehole. We’re racing, I’m not too much for this gentleman’s rule. I didn’t attack anyone, not because I’m a gentleman, but because I thought my chances would be pretty poor of actually getting past people because people don’t want you to get past and it’s just messy.

“I don’t want to screw anyone, I don’t see any point in that. I try to do my own thing and try to have a good qualifying for myself and I would never try to screw anyone just for the hell of it.”

Last year Fernando Alonso complained Magnussen spoiled his qualifying lap at Monza by overtaking him before the final corner.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 18 comments on “Vettel and Hulkenberg “did the right thing” by passing Verstappen – Magnussen”

    1. Imagine if we had Q4… Just another opportunities for all this circus of clowns to complain about nothing at all. How did the Mercedes drivers get such a clean run? Put your hand up and admit you left it too late. You can’t complain of something that’s totally under your control.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        13th April 2019, 11:37

        That is what I think. There is quite some time almost every Q1 where pretty much nobody is out. If this starts happening too often, the teams that it happens to should start going out early.

        1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
          13th April 2019, 11:37

          Almost every Q3 sorry.

      2. @fer-no65

        How did the Mercedes drivers get such a clean run?

        They were at the front of all this mess. And took 2 minutes for the out-lap. Maybe they could have been faster.
        But i agree, they could have taken a conscious decision to leave the pit early. Track evolution is one thing but you cant leave the pits too late; not really worth the risk. I am thinking if teams were doing this all along–touch and go with only a few seconds to spare and today it just went kaboom (spectacularly) with four of them missing out.

        1. Being the first of the queue, exactly. That way they can do whatever they want. And why were they the first of the queue? They left earlier. It’s so simple… This is F1, and they can’t get it right? Tough on them, no sympathy from me.

          1. @fer-no65
            This is the point ,really. No one held them in the garage.

        2. 2 minutes for an out-lap is what everyone was doing though, and what everyone knew was what was needed to get the tyres into the best window. So it’s not like it should’ve been a surprise that Merc were going slowly.

          1. @hugh11

            2 minutes for an out-lap is what everyone was doing though,

            Thats because they were all following the Mercs. Maybe 2 mins is not a surprise but teams leaving it so late certainly is; almost as if everyone wanted 2 mins for an out lap but all left at the same time.

    2. Of course Kmag would agree with the overtake considering his antics last year at Monza. However, I do agree that in this particular quali session it was justified as the drivers behind just wouldn’t get their lap in. But what Kmag did at Monza last year was unnecessary. The gentleman’s unwritten rule needs to exist, or else, instead of going for a fast lap, rivals will just intentionally focus on ruining other driver’s lap times. It will just lead to more controversy.

      1. Max is no gentleman. Doesnt apply to him.

      2. Only thing wrong last year in Monza, was Alonso beeing a complete moron…

    3. Couldn’t agree more, being the last car over the line can’t be worth that much in lap time, if anything at all, especially at the risk of setting no time. Watching them all come out the pit together with 2.20 left, I was wondering how on earth they were going to order themselves sufficiently apart. The only reason I can think that HAAS would aim to be last over the line is for their sponsors sake, but even that seems a stretch.

    4. That’s the one thing about Mercedes. They don’t mess about. Come Q3 they’re usually the first out of the pits on both runs.

      1. They have a super car so don’t need to rely on track evolution.

    5. Last paragraph about Alonso though, LOL.

    6. I thoroughly agree with him. Maybe in Baku and from now on in general RBR and Haas, i.e., the teams concerned might need to take it safe and be the first ones out on track for each run in qualifying.

    7. Ferrari made a stupid mistake and they made somebody else pay for it.

    8. It annoyed me that Sky basically missed that almost half the competitors didn’t even start the lap.

    Comments are closed.