Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Hungaroring, 2020

Magnussen calls for rules change after pit stop penalty

2020 British Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen wants Formula 1 to revise its rules to allow teams and drivers to discuss pit stop plans on the formation lap.

The Haas driver and team mate Romain Grosjean were given 10-second penalties after the Hungarian Grand Prix because the team told both of them to pit on the formation lap. While this is legal after the race has started, doing so on the formation lap is considered a violation of rules governing driver aids.

But Magnussen believes these rules were not intended to stop team discussing pit stops on the formation lap.

“Certainly it feels like these rules weren’t made to stop what we did in the race,” he said.

“I think they were meant to stop us fiddling around with clutch settings and race start procedures to try and make the race starts more random. I don’t think they were meant to stop strategic calls before the race. But it is what it is.”

The Haas pair gambled on switching to slick tyres before the race started. Preventing teams having such discussions in the future could spoil races, Magnussen warned.

“Maybe they need to look at it for that, for strategic calls, because I think if we aren’t allowed to do that, that is going to take away from the show. It is exciting when you have these conditions that are right on the crossover and you can see these strategic calls.

“It would be good if they could allow that clearly in the rules. I don’t think it was 100% clear but it is what it is.”

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Hungaroring, 2020
F1 fans are right to question Haas and Stroll penalty decisions
Magnussen revealed he didn’t learn of his penalty, which dropped him from ninth to 10th in the final classification, until after he returned home.

“I didn’t know until I landed in Denmark after the race on Sunday,” he said. “I hadn’t thought about it because in my mind we’re not allowed to talk about any procedures and if the guys aren’t allowed to give us any instructions on burnouts and any driver aids on the formation lap.

“I feel like we did that, it was a communication only about whether to pit or not. And not even really whether to pit or not, it was basically just to pit for dry tyres. I wouldn’t say it was completely straightforward.”

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14 comments on “Magnussen calls for rules change after pit stop penalty”

  1. Do it now.

    Some rules should be sent to history, where they belong.

    This was introduced to reduce driver coaching, but here were drivers asking team to pit.

    We really need some sentient stewards.

  2. for once, I agree with something coming from this team

  3. I agree with him.

  4. I agree with him.
    Think of Markus Winkelhock’s beloved F1 race – he would have also been penalized for that tyre change after the warm-up lap.

    1. Not only that, the decision looks inconsistent when you note that Palmer was ordered to pit on the formation lap of the 2017 Chinese GP, with no penalties given. If that was legal, then surely that should have set a precedent that what Haas did was also legal.

  5. Couldn’t Haas just have told Magnussen: “We are not allowed to tell you, so just make the decision you believe is right.” After all, it was Magnussen who was telling them they were on the wrong tyre, so he really could have made the decision to pit on his own. Same for Kvyat and Alpha Tauri, by the way.

    1. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but @aesto team personels can’t talk at all to drivers on warm up lap. Only if there is some real problems then they can talk back.

      1. CaribbeanGuy
        30th July 2020, 21:09

        i think theyre allow too.. but not to give them information to will affect their start, like what rpm or how much to press the clutch etc.. or the best mode for the conditions..

        1. Nope. On the formation lap, the only communication allowed is basically “Your car’s on fire, you might want to do something about that”.

          At least, I assume so. Let me know if you stumble over a copy of Technical Directive 011-17, because that’s the only place you can find the exemptions for communications on the formation lap.

          Or the rest of the race where the driver is supposed to drive alone and unaided.

          1. All this means in the future (if the rule isn’t changed) is the teams have to discuss with the driver on the grid, and then if they feel the need to pit they just tell the team and assume their complete silence means “OK”.

          2. @pimbers4955 As I think about it, some RT systems have an audible alert to tell you the channel is open … so all you need to do is have an agreement with the driver where opening the channel once (one beep) might mean “No” and twice (two beeps) means “Yes”.
            Also, there’s a system called RDS, Radio Data System, which enables someone to send telemetry via an FM radio system, not that this is allowed in F1.

      2. I admit I don’t know the letter of the law, but the spirit of it is driver coaching. So if they had said that, and the would have gotten a penalty, they would have had a good argument in appealing it by saying: “The rule is against driver coaching. We were letting the driver make his own decision, that’s the exact opposite of coaching.” F1 teams have managed to skirt rules with much thinner arguments ;-)

  6. CaribbeanGuy
    30th July 2020, 20:45

    I think they were meant to stop us fiddling around with clutch settings and race start procedures to try and make the race starts more random. I don’t think they were meant to stop strategic calls before the race. But it is what it is….

    exactly my thoughts.. it was meant to stop the team from telling the driver how to get the best start, that penalty was ridiculous

  7. The penalty was a disgrace for F1. I really hate it when such a penalty is given hours after the end of the race. It makes me feel I wasted my time watching the race. I can accept this for a technical breach which can only be found out after the race, but this ‘breach’ happened before the. At least take your decision earlier than.

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