Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Hungaroring, 2020

Both Haas drivers under investigation for ‘driver aids’ breach

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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The finishing positions of the two Haas drivers are in doubt as both face investigations for using “driver aids” during the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The stewards are investigating Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean for an “alleged breach of Article 27.1 of the FIA Formula One Sporting Regulations, driver aids during formation lap.” Haas team representatives have been summoned to meet with the stewards at 6:30pm local time.

The investigation puts Haas’s first points score of the 2020 season in doubt. Magnussen finished ninth, while Grosjean took the chequered flag in 15th place.

The team could face a time penalty if they are found to have infringed the rules. The relevant clause in the regulations states “the driver must drive the car alone and unaided”. Last year both Alfa Romeo drivers were given 30-second time penalties at the German Grand Prix after the team was found to have broken the same rule. However that infringement occured at the start of the race, rather than on the formation lap.

Update: Both drivers have been given 10-second time penalties

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Keith Collantine
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19 comments on “Both Haas drivers under investigation for ‘driver aids’ breach”

  1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    19th July 2020, 17:35

    Driver aids on the formation lap? What on earth does that mean? I hope nothing takes Magnussen’s points finish away – that’d be pretty terrible.

    1. Kyle (@hammerheadgb)
      19th July 2020, 17:43

      Any penalty will put him behind Sainz, but Leclerc finished just over 20 seconds behind so it would have to be a minimum of a 10 second stop-go (which is translated to 30 seconds post-race) to take him out of the points entirely.

    2. Only Facts!
      19th July 2020, 17:44

      Clutch bite points or the like, I suppose.

    3. @rocketpanda agreed, I hope this isn’t Haas’ last drop.
      In typical f1 form, some team knew they had an ace on another team and they wait for a good result to use it, shameless.

    4. Supposedly it’s about the radio and calling the drivers in to change to dry tires. Reported by a couple others that’s not allowed from the time the roll off until the lights are out.

      Seems like a bs rule to me, because the drivers are allowed to decide and tell the pits they’re coming in. But the team can’t call the driver in. I get not telling them how to tune the engine or clutch bite point from the roll off data. But to change to slicks? Kinda garbage

  2. DAllein (@)
    19th July 2020, 17:39

    Is it something to do with their tyres and decision to pit?

  3. Total BS since drivers are constantly told during races to put different modes on their engines, and told delta times for tyre management, etc etc. No driver aids should mean simply that: NO DRIVER AIDS. Give the drivers enough readouts in their steering wheels to make their own decisions. If the car is sending all that telemetry to the pits, then the data exists in the car already. I’m sure any decent software / GUI designer can figure out a way to give the driver’s that info on their displays.

    1. Rules are rules, everyone else followed them so why should one team flaunt that and get away with it.

      1. @slowmo you don’t get it. the rules are not black nor white. For instances the PU is mapped to evey cm of any track on the grid, how is that not traction control? it is, made in a way that it does not say it is traction control.
        Whatever Haas did everyone does the same, but a team cowardly went to the stewards to show how haas is doing what everyone is doing.

        1. @peartree the rules are Black and white otherwise they cannot be enforced so if they broke them then they should be penalised. Maybe when we have confirmation of what the aid was exactly we can comment more. If I was Haas though and this was about the call to pit for tyres then I’d be miffed as its silly that they could have that conversation without penalty once the lights went out.

          If the rule is stupid then it should be changed but the penalty must stand. Do you remember the time Schumacher overtook a car on the last lap before the line when a safety car was coming into the pits. He got a penalty even though he didn’t actually break the rules as they were written. I seem to recall the rule Schumacher “used” as his defence wasc

          1. changed very shortly after that.

          2. @slowmo I remember he took Alonso at Monaco, I still don’t understand that whole thing, overtaking on after the sc line but before the start and finish.
            If the rules were anything but grey then this would not be an investigation. The rules state drivers should drive unaided yet the engineers tell the drivers what maps to use and at what times, how many overtakes and for how long. SKy moaned that the engineers were telling drivers (rosberg, really) when and how to do something and managed to force this dumb rule that made no difference as teams use code language, so we are treated like fools, the point is to hide it from us but we can tell regardless, like austria’s team orders or Lando getting scenario 7, sounds fancier than “Fernando is faster than you” but more importantly deniable.

          3. The rule they broke seems to have been communication is banned under any circumstances on the formation lap and therefor not a grey area. Having looked at the transcripts and the fact they did actually start from the pit lane it is very harsh though. That rule will be changed I’m sure in the future. I can see they have a point with appealing Grosjeans penalty as he requested the pitstop before the team offered so therefor was compliance rather than an aid.

    2. Yeah, I actually though of this rule wile watching those pretty epic last laps from Lando Norris in the 2 Austrian races where he got a boatload of instructions on where and how long to use the overtake and what modes to switch to.

  4. Surely they don’t mean the team telling them to pit to change tyres?

    1. I believe this it.

      If they get nailed for changing tires, then I will be very disappointed.

  5. If you watch Norris’ last laid on both Austrian GOs you’ll hear the engineer telling him in which corner to use the overtake button and for how long, multiple times. I don’t understand what constitutes driver aids and what doesn’t.

    1. I meant “last lap” and “GP” obviously. I should really have proofread that

  6. What? Coming in to change tires is a ‘driving aid’? Winklehock at Nurburgring etc, this has been common practice for ages, if anything i’d have thought it less safe to not allow teams to do this once having completed the formation lap (which in itself is safety precaution). How is that a ‘driving aid’? We’re just making it up as we go along, and playing lawyers later.

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