Kevin Magnussen has slammed the race stewards’ decision to hand him a time penalty at the Russian GP, insisting he was given a “harsh penalty for nothing” and that Lando Norris “didn’t deserve” to finish ahead of him.
The Haas driver was defending from Sergio Perez for seventh place in Sochi when he braked too late into Turn Two, and then failed to drive to the left of the bollards put in place in the run-off area when returning on-track.
Although Magnussen lost the position anyway, and told his Haas team that it would have been “dangerous” to swerve to the left and abide by the rules, the stewards gave him a five-second time penalty.
Magnussen eventually finished the race in eighth, but lost a position to McLaren’s Norris due to that decision.
“That penalty could have meant disaster for us,” an emotional Magnussen told Sky F1 after the race. “It was such a harsh penalty… for nothing.
“I just don’t think it’s fair to give Norris that position and McLaren those points, because he didn’t deserve it.
“It’s not like I made myself undeserving of that position because I lost that position to Perez, we were fighting for P7 and I went over that piece of crap track and lost my position, lost a lot of time, fought hard not to lose another position and I would have way better off if I hadn’t gone over the run-off.
“So I have already got a penalty and then they choose to give me another one. It’s crap.”
When congratulated by his team, Magnussen also said on the radio: “If we wouldn’t have a stupid, idiotic steward we would be eighth.”
The Dane scored Haas’ first points since the German GP on Sunday, but his race had been soured by the stewards. Magnussen, who described Turn Two as a “nightmare corner”, was particularly miffed as he insisted he was trying to avoid an accident by choosing not to go around the bollard at a tight angle.
“I come into the run-off with a lot of speed and I’m thinking it’s not a good idea to try and stop the car and turn it, I’m focused on just trying to keep the car in control, and get through this bollard thing – there’s three bollards – safely,” he explained.
“I come out, I’ve lost a position, I’ve lost a lot more time than I would have gained by just going behind him, and I’ve got dirt on my tyres so the whole next lap is also very slow. I’ve lost a whole lot of lap time going through there.
“They see it – and it is 100 per cent a grey situation, it’s not black and white – and they choose to give me a penalty and I don’t get it. It’s like, why would you give me a penalty when I haven’t won anything, in fact I’ve lost a whole lot?”
Sky F1‘s Paul Di Resta agreed that Magnussen was unlucky, adding: “Very harsh.