During the second qualifying round (Q2), Magnussen collided with the barrier while navigating Speaker’s Corner, and despite the damage to his Haas, he continued on the racecourse, blocking Leclerc’s path considerably.
Leclerc expressed his dissatisfaction over the team radio and demanded a penalty for Magnussen.
Upon reviewing the incident post-session, the stewards handed Magnussen a three-position grid penalty for the upcoming Sunday race, stating that he and his Haas team should have been more careful not to disrupt the Ferrari.
The stewards noted in their decision: “Magnussen veered off-course at Turn 9 and collided with the barrier. Subsequently, he returned to and remained on the dry line.
Leclerc, who was running a speedy lap, approached Magnussen who didn’t make room until Turn 16.
Magnussen reasoned that shifting onto the wet at high speed, making space for Leclerc, was unsafe, particularly during the turns from 11 to 15.
The stewards observed that Magnussen was not warned by his team about Leclerc’s proximity until the latter was nearly at his tail at Turn 10. The team also urged him to push harder as he needed to reach the line for another lap.
Regardless of whether it was Magnussen’s failure to slow down and move aside following his crash, or the team’s delayed information that could have allowed him to yield earlier, or the command to press on with the lap; the stewards concluded that he unnecessarily obstructed Leclerc.”
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23
Photo by: Alessio Morgese
Due to the penalty, Magnussen slipped from the 13th to the 16th place on the grid, as the damage from his collision with the wall was too severe to improve his final lap and move on to Q3.
When questioned about his mishap by F1 Flow.com, Magnussen responded, “I collided with the barrier at the exit of Turn 9 and the car was damaged, including the rear wing and the floor. I managed to get another try, but naturally, it was with a damaged car.”
He added, “I think I handled it well considering, but of course, I shouldn’t have been off the track. The car was quite damaged, and I ended up in the tyre wall.”
Having had time to cool down and re-evaluate the event, pole-sitter Leclerc appeared more sympathetic to the challenging position Magnussen was in.
Leclerc admitted, “With only one dry line, it’s quite tough to move outside of it on slicks. Normally, you would shift away from the racing line, but under such conditions, it’s not so straightforward.”
Further reporting by Adam Cooper.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Belgian GP Grid Penalty
What incident caused a penalty for Magnussen at the Belgian GP?
During the second qualifying round (Q2), Magnussen, in his damaged Haas car, continued on the race line, severely obstructing Leclerc’s path.
What was the extent of Magnussen’s penalty for the incident?
Magnussen was handed a three-place grid penalty for the upcoming Sunday race following a post-session review by the stewards.
How did Leclerc react to the incident?
Leclerc initially expressed his displeasure over the team radio and demanded a penalty for Magnussen. Later, after having time to review the situation, he showed more understanding of the difficult position Magnussen was in.
Why didn’t Magnussen move off the racing line after his accident?
Magnussen reasoned that moving onto the wet at high speed, making space for Leclerc, was unsafe, particularly during the turns from 11 to 15.
How did the penalty affect Magnussen’s position on the grid?
Due to the penalty, Magnussen slipped from the 13th to the 16th place on the grid for the Sunday race.