Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean, Haas, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Magnussen: Contact with Grosjean didn’t cost him places

2019 F1 season

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Kevin Magnussen says the contact between him and Romain Grosjean did not cause his team mate to lose places in the Spanish Grand Prix.

Magnussen overtook Grosjean at the Safety Car restart during Sunday’s race. The pair made contact and Grosjean had to use the escape road to continue. The same happened again when Grosjean tried to retake the position a few laps later.

The pair were told to “calm down” by the team. On the next lap Grosjean was passed by Carlos Sainz Jnr and he lost another place to Daniil Kvyat later in the race.

On the team radio immediately after the race the Haas pair were called to “clear the air” talks by team principal Guenther Steiner. Magnussen said there is “no problems” between the drivers and that his driving hadn’t cost his team mate points.

“At the end of the day nothing happened between us,” he said. “I got P7 and scored six points, he’s got one point. He could have scored more, he had the pace but didn’t for different reasons.

“It wasn’t what happened between me and him that meant we didn’t score more points. He went off-track, came back behind me and then dropped back behind other people so it’s not that I pushed him off the track and then he lost a lot of positions, that didn’t happen.

“We were fighting hard. It looked harder than it was because we had contact on that Safety Car restart which I don’t see what I could have done differently and I don’t think he intended… I think it was a bit of a misjudgement and a lot of cars around and these things can happen in a Safety Car restart or on lap one, things like can happen.

“After that there was no contact. It looked worse because he went off the track and went around the bollard and all that but in the end of the day he came back right behind me and then laps after he lost positions.”

Magnussen pointed out he was fully at the inside of the corner when the pair made contact: “I was on the white line on the inside when we touched.”

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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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30 comments on “Magnussen: Contact with Grosjean didn’t cost him places”

  1. Oh boy… You could argue that had he stayed behind Grosjean in the first place, they would have maximised points too. Poor form. (But I do enjoy a good team mate scrap)

    1. You could also argue that had Grosjean defended his 8th place instead of trying to take back the position with all he had, presumably raging under his helmet, he could have kept it and not ended up 10th…

    2. But, but, but had MAG overtaken GAS (as he almost did), then?
      And MAGs move was only made possible because Toro where slow to pit Kvyat, or…

      It’s racing, go for the gap!

      1. I believe you misunderstood me. I do enjoy seeing pilots going for the gap. But dissing your team mate for losing points “for the team” when you started the shambles is poor form. They fought, it ended up as it did. We as spectators enjoyed it (probably only interesting part of the GP) and lets leave it as it is. I will not fault Magnussen for overtaking unecessaraly Grosjean nor will i fault Grosjean attacking unnecessarily Mag to take his place back. Plus if I were MAG i would just be happy the safety car allowed me to close the 10 sec gaps to GRO and given me the opportunity to pounce (and pouce well) and leave it at that.

      2. I once again quote SENNA: ” I you see a gap and you don’t go for it, you are no longer a race driver”

        1. @frankadam – I politely refer you to this article from this very website on that often used but little understood quote.

          To clarify, I was and remain an Ayrton Senna fan

          1. @ahxshades, as you note, it is one of those quotes that is heavily overused and often used in ignorance of the context in which it was said – if anything, many at the time felt insulted by Senna seeming to think he could take them for idiots by being so dishonest and that, rather than a heroic statement, they thought that it stained his reputation.

            It also has to be said that, whilst Steiner might publicly have been downplaying some of the aspects of that clash, in the more private environment of the post race team radio, he sounded a lot less impressed with Magnussen – no praise, just a rather curt instruction to immediately return to the pits to speak directly with him. In private, it sounds as if Steiner did perhaps lean more towards the attitude that Magnussen did cost the team points – so, in that context, Magnussen’s comments are unlikely to endear him to his team.

    3. You could also argue that if Kmag had stayed behind, then they both would have been overtaken and scored even less points.
      The thing is, we will never know, and I would rather see races with overtaking then team orders.

      1. @kelvin38 I suppose there’s a lot you could argue, but not all of it is very valid – that one, seems unlikely, given Kvyat and Sainz couldn’t get near Kmag in the race as it happened, as Kmag had good pace – but, his argument here isn’t much better, so I suppose that is fine then? I think it is pretty clear that had Kmag not attacked, they would have finished GRO 7, MAG 8.

        Not that I blame Kmag for going for it, but he might take some responsibility for setting things in motion his teammate then handled less good that he could have.

        1. @bosyber Of course not all of it is valid.

          We have to keep in mind that we are debating this in retrospect.
          Before Spain, Haas have had a tire hell.
          Grosjean did not seem to have the heat right at the restart, how was anyone to know when the speed was returning.

          So, Kmag might have had the speed in the race, if Gro never had gotten the heat right, and Kmag had to stay behind, he to would have suffered.

          Most of the actions of all the drivers are quite natural given the situation. And in this instance I think the tire history “Force” Kmag to make a move asap.

          1. Completely agree. The haas garage is having sleepless nights over tire temperatures. Magnussen would not risk losing momentum behind grojeans cold? tires and made a fair overtake

  2. You could also argue that had Grosjean defended his 8th place instead of trying to take back the position with all he had, presumably raging under his helmet, he could have kept it and not ended up 10th…

  3. Kevin MAXnussen. K Mad clearly pushed Gro off track and that destroyed his tyres in the last laps. For a one off that move is ok but K Mad regularly makes dirty moves.

    1. Well that is a biased attitude I must say. Magnussen is a racer and he races hard. But if you look at the penalty list you would learn that he’s got…… zero -0 penalty points atm.
      Just saying.

      1. That’s more a case of poor stewarding than anything else. He probably deserved more penalties than any other driver last year.

    2. And this is why KMAG is one of the least punished in the F1 field – actually the only one other than Hamilton with a clean license – but what do stewards know about racing and “dirty moves”! According to the real expert Magnus is as clean as they get and there is data behind – Grosjeans data on the other show a very unclean driver – but who cares as long people get to express their own opinions against all evidence on the internet – come on!

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        16th May 2019, 12:11

        This is why he’s one of my favourites; people says he’s dangerous, but how often does he crash with other drivers?
        He might force them to lift off sure, but they do.
        He’s always right at the limit of what is acceptable, which is exactly where you should be.
        Normally it takes a few crashes to earn the reputation of being someone who take you off rather than concede, but Kevin has earned this fear with very few repair bills.

        1. Very well said, Pat Ruadh

    3. AMG44 I think you need to see the episode again. KMag did NOT push Grosjean off track. KMag was right at the curb, when Grosjean turned into him. Grosjean had plenty of space, but was trying so hard to regain the position, that he turned into his team mate. I’m sure it wasn’t deliberately though.

  4. I hope Moanjean gets fired (again).

    I cannot forgive this numpty for Barcelona 2018, he’s as much of an embarrassment to the sport as Stroll.

    1. Yeah sure, 10 podiums in three different cars, former GP2 champion, is an embarassement to the sport

      1. The 2012-13 Lotuses were very good cars, must be said. He scored 9 of his 10 podiums in those two seasons, against Kimi’s 15 (incl. 2 wins). The 2015 podium was down to Vettel’s puncture in the last laps at Spa that year.

        Romain can be quick at times, but he’s also made some pretty bonehead errors in recent years. I know he made a comment last year about driving in F1 until he’s 40 … I will be shocked if he’s still driving in 2023.

  5. Had this been Hamilton overtaking Bottas for the lead this discussion would not even be taking place! Fact is that 7-th place is like a WIN for everyone NOT driving are Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull!

    1. totally agree

  6. Magnussen is a legend. Let him drive, he brings more racing and excitement to F1, unlike some others who crash a lot.

  7. Of course Kevin had to go for the gap. It is not a team/mate sport – one for all and all for one..It it an egoist sport and who score most points gets a new contract..Simple as that. Im sure that Gene and Steiner see it same way and not blame kevin for going for the gap. Romain was cought napping and can only blame himself for what happened next. He could been easily line up for a clean overtake but his emotions took over and he nearly lost the plot. Talk about what is best for the team is fine until race is on. Senna would been proud watch kevin if he been alive today that’s for sure..Go for the gap..

    Ps. Romain would done exactly the same if it was vice versa!

  8. I feel Grosjean can’t really complain too much, after all he actually got to the end of the race this year as opposed to wiping out not even halfway through the first lap and taking two other drivers with him.

  9. Ericsson did it!

  10. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    17th May 2019, 12:50

    Well, if Grosjean had defended or attacked as aggressively as Kevin had, Haas would have scored 0 points at the race and perhaps needed 2 new cars.

    Kudos to Grosjean for bringing back 7 points for the team! Shame on Kevin for being so careless with the team’s points.

    It was complete nonsense – no point in Kevin defending it. This overtake could have destroyed Haas if both car had been taken out and it lost 2 spots in the WCC at the end of the season.

    1. They were vitually equal in quali, grojean had pace over kevin until sc but got court napping, maybe lost vital tire temp and kevin made a clean overtake. had kevins momentum propelled him past gasly(almost did!) some would have called him driver of the day. I understand grojean trying to claim his place back, but had he focused on p8, like you say kevin should have? Or teamorders telling kevin to let grojean by again. I dont know if kevin defended too aggressivly, but haas chance to score more points, to pass gasly, was with kevin directly after sc and would not happen with grojean slowly hunting him down over the last ten laps like he tried the first 53 laps

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