Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher have both escaped punishment after being summoned to the stewards at the Spanish Grand Prix for allegedly driving unnecessarily slowly in qualifying.
Magnussen qualified in eighth place with Schumacher 10th after both cars made it through to Q3, but those grid positions were put at risk after both Haas drivers were summoned for allegedly not complying with the race director’s instructions.
The FIA’s race director’s event notes state: “In order to ensure that cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly during all laps of the qualifying sessions or during reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race, drivers must stay below the maximum time set by the FIA between the safety car lines shown on the pit lane map.”
After an investigation, Magnussen told RACER he had been given a warning rather than a penalty, and the FIA later confirmed the outcome, although stated the Haas pair were singled out among multiple infractions due to their positions on track.
“During the qualifying practice there were 55 violations by 18 drivers of the race director’s Event Notes (Point 4) regarding minimum time between SC1 and SC2,” the stewards’ decision read. “The stewards reviewed each case, and the majority of cases were a result of drivers following another driver who was also on an out lap and as each driver attempted to create a gap to the preceding driver, they went successively slower until a ‘train’ of drivers exceeded the minimum time.
“However, on the five occasions when these ‘trains’ developed during the out laps of qualifying, the driver of car 47, Mick Schumacher, and the driver of car 20, Kevin Magnussen were the first, or nearly the first, out of the pits due to their garage location, and so were able to control their speed without having to be concerned about cars in front of them. Further, the Stewards found that generally the cars that failed to follow the race director’s Event Note, were following these two cars.
“The procedure required by the note is relatively new and was introduced during this season and has not involved a penalty up to this point. However, for the reasons above, the stewards determine that these drivers’ failure to follow the instructions was more under their control than any other drivers. As the procedure is new and in view of the fact that other drivers did violate the instruction, but not to this degree, the stewards issue a warning to the drivers concerned. The stewards note that further violations may incur increased penalties not only for these drivers but for any competitor committing a similar breach in the future.”