UPDATE, 9:00 a.m. ET: Kevin Magnussen has avoided punishment for his part in an unusual crash for Esteban Ocon late in FP3 at the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ocon crashed into the wall on the exit of Turn 3 as he took avoiding action in response to Magnussen slowing, as both cars were looking to allow a faster Williams to overtake. Ocon had just let Magnussen through himself, and had been looking in his mirrors just as the Haas lifted off, with the stewards and both drivers agreeing it was a case of unfortunate timing that led to the incident.
“Discussing the incident with the drivers and examining the evidence, the stewards determined that Magnussen lifted and slowed using ERS harvesting; there was no use of the brakes that contributed to the accident,” the decision read. “This was confirmed with telemetry.
“Magnussen pulled gently off line, having been advised of following traffic on fast laps. At the same time Ocon was also moving to the right to let traffic by and was looking in his mirrors for the cars following. When he subsequently looked forward, he was surprised to see Magnussen directly ahead of him and swerved to avoid a collision.
“Both drivers and the stewards agreed that it was an unfortunate accident and that neither driver was to blame. The stewards therefore take no further action.”
Renault expects to be able to repair Ocon’s car in time for qualifying, while Magnussen and teammate Romain Grosjean are both targeting a place in Q2 after strong Friday pace from Haas at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.
8:09 a.m. ET: Kevin Magnussen is under investigation for his part in a bizarre crash for Esteban Ocon at the end of final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ocon had just left the pits late in the session and let Magnussen through into Turn 3, but the Haas driver was not on a flying lap and himself moved to the inside of the track on the exit of the corner to allow a Williams that was approaching to overtake.
Just as Magnussen started to move, Ocon did the same and checked his mirrors for the car behind, but Magnussen hit the brakes in an apparent attempt to make sure both cars were cleared before Turn 4. With Ocon checking his mirrors, he was late to respond to the Haas braking and swerved into the wall as he took avoiding action.
The impact was big enough that the Frenchman needed precautionary checks at the medical center before being allowed to return to the paddock, where Renault said he is OK as the team starts working on repairing the car ahead of qualifying.
Both drivers were called to the stewards 90 minutes before qualifying as the incident is being investigated.
Magnussen finished FP3 in 17th place while teammate Romain Grosjean was 13th. The Frenchman had been in the top six in both Friday practice sessions but required a power unit change after a loss of power at the end of FP2. A subsequent leak on the new unit led Haas to break the curfew overnight to effect a fix.