Magnussen ‘changed his mind’ on collision with Hamilton in Spanish GP

2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen says he’s changed his opinion of his first-lap collision with Lewis Hamilton in the Spanish Grand Prix.

The Haas driver remarked on his radio Hamilton “knew what he was doing” after the pair collided on the first lap of Sunday’s race. Magnussen later played this down, saying it was a comment made in the heat of the moment.

Having watched footage of the incident, Magnussen said today that he’s “changed my view” on what happened.

Magnussen was trying to drive around the outside of Hamilton at turn four when the pair made contact, leaving both with punctures. The Haas driver admitted he originally suspected Hamilton had allowed his car to run wide and make contact with his, but now realised that wasn’t the case.

“I had the feeling when I was on the track that he opened his steering, but that’s not what happened,” said Magnussen. “He just got in the slipstream of the Ferrari, understeered a tiny bit, and I was super-close to him. I didn’t give him much room. I gave no margin. So we touched and it is what it is, unfortunately.”

The contact sent Magnussen off the track
Following the contact Hamilton as able to recover to fifth place while Magnussen finished out of the points.

“I just wish I had turned in one millisecond later to have a little bit more,” he said. “But in a corner like that, if you’re going to go around the outside, you want to be as close to him as possible. You don’t go too wide and go in the dirty part of the track. That’s what I did and we touched, unfortunately.

“There was also a lot of bad luck in that. If I’d just been a little bit further forward when we hit, we would have hit rim-to-rim and it would have been different. But unfortunately it just hit with the side of the tyre and his side of the tyre, puncture. So it’s bad luck. I wish I had given him slightly more room.”

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2022 Monaco Grand Prix

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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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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38 comments on “Magnussen ‘changed his mind’ on collision with Hamilton in Spanish GP”

  1. He changed his mind, the outcome didn’t. On to the next race!

  2. He destroyed Hamilton’s race, and his own. Wonder if Haas misses Mazepin now?

    1. They miss zero points, car wreaked from collision and an oligarch as sponsor? Believe they still have nightmares about that period…

    2. You must be kidding…

    3. [checks notes]

      No.

  3. Over agressive with too much esteem for his own talent, same a he ever was.

  4. I’m impressed with him making this statement. Classy

    1. Yep. It was a racing incident but it was caused by leaving no room for error. A tiny amount of understeer and contact was guaranteed.

      Considering he was on the outside and had more than lose, it was just not a clever move from KMag.

      1. Of course you can equally state that lewis was a bit over optimistic to stay so close behind a ferrari. He lost control of his car and that was the real cause.

    2. That was my take too. Very rare to admit fault. My view of Magnussen has gone up this year, seems to be enjoying the racing.

      1. I thought that too until I saw some footage from the F1 site, post Miami GP, where Mag took Guenther for a lap in a Nascar, very cold interactions between the two, didn’t look like a happy relationship at all.

  5. As I already wrote a few days ago when he first mentioned that the original comment was said in the heat of the moment it’s really great that after cooling down and looking at the accident from other angles he admitted that is wasn’t Hamilton hitting him at all.

    Good job Kev.

  6. I wonder if anyone else will admit they were wrong about the incident. I’ll wait.

    1. ThreePurpleSectors (@)
      26th May 2022, 22:02

      @phillyspur, They’re are being very careful about their wording. I can still see they are still trying to deflect the blame away from MAG hence their fixation on “understeer.”

      Had the roles been reversed they would not be as charitable. MAG is not walking it back because of the contact, he is walking it back because of his incendiary accusations. The double standards would be in full effect. This just shows what a nice person MAG is but an overly aggressive driver behind the wheel.

    2. At least Mag is making it right. Someone else would be ” that what you get when you don’t leave room ” and leave it at that.

    3. As one of the more vocal commenters on the incident – I haven’t changed my position.
      I’d take the move Magnussen did 1000 times and not regret it even once. There was a great opportunity to achieve a good position there on a track that is known to be very poor for racing and overtaking, and letting it slip by would be a waste. Hard racing is what racing is about, and the risks are accepted.
      There’s always going to be responsibility on both drivers to avoid an incident – not just one of them. Racing isn’t a solo activity.

      1. You just get better and better

        After the very driver you insisted was near innocent walks it back, apologises and says he wishes he had given more room, going on to take blame for the incident and even describing how it was not a straight wheel to wheel and avoidable (classy act Kev I must say)

        S round at race fans, having climbed right up on his high horse giving incorrect lectures on understeer when others have pointed out that the incident was near impossible for LH to avoid given the circumstances, still maintains his opinion is the correct one because it takes two to tango and he feels it’s a great move, not to be missed even, because it’s hard racing…

        I said before, do some racing and see how that goes for you.

        1. You just get better and better

          Why, thank you very much! ;)

          I said before, do some racing and see how that goes for you.

          Your eyes are obviously as closed as your mind.
          Not everyone ‘races’ like a grandpa.

          1. And even better – now it really is a compliment.

            The 130+ trophies at national level in three different racing classes in my cabinet beg to differ with your final statement however…

          2. Oh goody, a peeing contest…

          3. See below

            It’s not a peeing contest

            Just calling you out on all things LH

            I mean really?

            Why the total dislike and disrespect of a stunningly talented driver?

            Did he nick your girl or something?

          4. Why are you so defensive about Hamilton?

            IMO he has exactly the same value as any other person on the planet. Sometimes he does things worthy of praise, and – just as with all other human beings – he also does things that aren’t.

            His talent, IMO, isn’t any greater than many of the other drivers in F1, nor many of the other drivers in many other professional and non-professional motor racing series. He has indisputably benefited greatly from having exceptional machinery at his disposal during his F1 career – more so than any other driver in history – Schumacher included.

            If you think that not worshipping someone who is my equal as a human being is a show of disrespect, then that’s fine. You can have your definition of disrespect.

  7. if you’re going to go around the outside, you want to be as close to him as possible. You don’t go too wide and go in the dirty part of the track. That’s what I did and we touched, unfortunately.

    OK it’s an honest explanation, but you can’t have both, going around the outside, offline, and staying on the clean track. I get what he’s saying about wanting to be ‘as close as possible’ but the margins are too fine. His move did seem more like that of a midfield scrap where the cost-benefit of those risky moves is less dramatic: there’s a reason why drivers in the top 6, say, are usually a little more cautious in the opening laps, or learn to be so, since an incident that sends you off or picks up damage and you’re tumbling a long way down the grid.

    1. there’s a reason why drivers in the top 6, say, are usually a little more cautious in the opening laps, or learn to be so, since an incident that sends you off or picks up damage and you’re tumbling a long way down the grid.

      This is exactly right, except for the fact that Haas was also in a high stakes position to score very important points, the equivalent of RB or Ferrari winning a race. Top team drivers are calculating and timing themselves to execute higher percentage moves to get themselves over the finish line up front while still pushing hard. Nothing was more important than scoring points, even if it wasn’t a lot of them; Mags lost sight of that.
      Mags was in an excellent position to hold pace with the cars around him, get the car over the finish line and score points. They could be in 7th place right now in the WCC if they scored points and help offset any bad/slow races that are forecasted to come up for them. It was a significant error

    2. ThreePurpleSectors (@)
      27th May 2022, 2:16

      @david-br, Exactly! His move was desperate. A whole lot of risk with no upside.

  8. Every team needs its Latifi, dam ankle bitters.

  9. It was a pretty normal lap 1 incident, and the radio accusations are unfortunately normal as well. Good of him to recant though.

  10. With hindsight he should have left the room because he was never really going to race Hamilton on the day give the speed differential of the cars. Sometimes you need to concede a place and live to fight another corner. Hamilton was a passenger once Kevin gave no room, had he lifted he would have likely washed out into the Haas anyway. Rather silly racing incident.

  11. It’s important to note that Magnussen’s hindsight is based on the outcome that actually happened from that particular incident. He doesn’t regret the move, only the outcome.
    If he’d pulled it off without contact, he wouldn’t regret anything at all. I reckon he’d be pretty proud of himself, actually, and Hamilton would be the one regretting giving up the position.

    1. He doesn’t regret the move, only the outcome.

      No, he regretted the move. His words:

      I wish I had given him slightly more room.

      1. ….Because there was contact.

        But in a corner like that, if you’re going to go around the outside, you want to be as close to him as possible. You don’t go too wide and go in the dirty part of the track. That’s what I did and we touched, unfortunately.
        There was also a lot of bad luck in that.

        But unfortunately it just hit with the side of the tyre and his side of the tyre, puncture. So it’s bad luck.

        Sounds more like regretting contact than driving choices to me.

        1. Sounds more like regretting contact than driving choices to me.

          Well it doesn’t surprise me that you hear what you want to hear. But no, he said he wished he’d given more room, driven a (tiny) bit differently. If you read the rest of what Magnussen said without the distortion, it’s clear he held Hamilton blameless: the latter picked up a little understeer caused by trailing the Ferrari, enough, Magnussen is suggesting, to mean that his own decision to drive as close to Hamilton as possible led to the incident. He thinks he should have allowed more of a margin. Which is precisely what he should have done. Are you really going to insist on this point when the driver himself has acknowledged the mistake and explained – clearly and fairly commendably – what happened?

          1. He didn’t say Hamilton was blameless – he’s saying he understood why Hamilton’s car understeered. That’s not to say that Hamilton shouldn’t have seen it coming.

            My point was what I’d do – and that’s exactly what Magnussen originally did.
            Risky move? Sure, but nobody wins anything without taking a risk. Hamilton himself has spent most of his time in F1 pressuring and squeezing competitors off line in order to benefit. He was famous for it for years. That’s all Magnussen was doing here.
            This time it didn’t work out for him, but next time it probably would.

            If they hadn’t made contact, Magnussen would have been ahead – a risk worth taking IMO.

        2. He clearly regretted the move by saying I should have given more room!

          The reality is these cars are very very prone to understeer in general.

          First lap even more so.

          You mentioned earlier how you understood what understeer was and how backing off is the answer as it loads the front axle. I am not sure you do understand in a racing aspect hence my comments.

          Actually if you wish to maintain motion (it is as you have pointed out -hard racing) then you action simply results in lost places and someone running up your backside. The alternative will be the simple Seb spin which is the most likely outcome at slow speed.

          Hamilton being, you know, a racing driver, did what should be done.

          You open the steering wheel as minor amount as you can and steer again while holding the throttle steady. Or you run on with it controlling the slide and maintaining pace waiting for grip and not letting the rear get away from you (low speed – minimal downforce plus disturbance in front – v likely to spin)

          Then Kev comes squeezing you tight and running into your racing line. Contact and punctures.

          Even he has admitted it was the wrong move.

    2. LOL

      Your very unique opinion is not shared by MAG. I bet your opinion would be very different, if it wasnt HAM who MAG crashed into.

      1. That’s good. Either it proves that I’m not Kevin Magnussen – or that I am, but am capable of looking at a situation from multiple angles simultaneously.

        Of course I can see the two sides being discussed here, but I choose to comment from only one of those perspectives.

  12. digitalrurouni
    27th May 2022, 15:19

    So tired of the toxicity of the F1 fans. Good lord.

    1. Who’s toxic here?

      Or do you mean, generally?

Comments are closed.