Formula 1 penalty antics could result in another rule change

Kevin Magnussen has been playing the ultimate team game for Haas during the 2024 Formula 1 season, and his disruption could result in a rule change.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Formula 1
Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Formula 1 / Rudy Carezzevoli/GettyImages

Haas have been fortunate enough to produce a Formula 1 car with good pace so far this season, and Nico Hulkenberg has done a much better job than Kevin Magnussen in capitalizing.

There have been two instances in seven races so far this season during which the Danish driver has backed up those behind him in an effort to help his German teammate. 

While it worked in Saudi Arabia and Miami, Magnussen’s antics seemed rather extreme, especially while he was racing around the circuit surrounding Hard Rock Stadium. The 31-year-old received three separate 10-second penalties which plunged himself down to 19th place.

It appears that some of his violations were deliberate, and the consensus seems to be that it simply should not be allowed in Formula 1. Magnussen now finds himself with a series-leading 10 penalty points, and having 12 at a time triggers a race ban.

From the start of this season, 10-second time penalties had become more common than they had been in the past, and after Magnussen’s maneuvers in Miami, some believe a further change must be made.

What could happen going forward?

Considering Magnussen has been willing to receive the penalty points and in-race penalties, there will likely be a change to how similar situations are assessed going forward.

According to Motorsport, the stewards released a statement regarding Magnussen holding up drivers behind him.

"Moving forward, the stewards will need to consider if, in appropriate situations, especially in the case of repeat infringements, the penalties to be applied for each infringement need to be increased to discourage scenarios such as those that we found today."

FIA stewards

Consequently, all 10 team principals met before the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola Circuit to discuss whether a change will be necessary. Despite the widespread agreement, a rule change is not imminent, as no one wants negative consequences to result.

However, it is set to be discussed at the next F1 Sporting Advisory Committee meeting. For now, stewards will likely opt to give drivers a drive-through penalty rather than a simple 10-second deduction.

Forcing drivers to pit and serve their penalties may be what it takes to discourage their unsportsmanlike maneuvers, all while getting them out of the way of their competitors.

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Additionally, Magnussen has even admitted that his style of racing in Miami was not proper. Surprisingly, he gave a suggestion as to how the situation could be prevented, mentioning the idea of drivers being told to give positions back after overtaking unfairly. A permanent solution could come later this season or in 2025, but one thing for certain is that preventing drivers from holding others back will improve racing as a whole.