Magnussen says Hulkenberg didn’t play team game in Miami sprint

Kevin Magnussen says his multiple penalties in the sprint at the Miami Grand Prix were justified as he protected Nico Hulkenberg, but felt his teammate instigated the situation himself.

Hulkenberg and Magnussen were running in seventh and eighth early on in the Sprint, keeping Hamilton at bay outside of the points in the shorter race. However, once Hulkenberg pulled more than a second clear of Magnussen, he lost DRS and was struggling to keep Hamilton at bay, receiving multiple penalties for leaving the track and gaining an advantage or exceeding track limits in his battle.

“They were fair; all the penalties were fair,” Magnussen said after picking up a total of 35s of time penalties across four different incidents. “But I had to do my thing to protect Nico, make the space, same story as Jeddah.


“So I got some penalties, we got some points as a team. It kind of sucks for me because I think we probably could have just finished there, both cars, had we played the game together, kept me in the DRS, but Nico cut the chicane at one point and broke the DRS. Then I was vulnerable to Lewis, started fighting with him, lost ground to Nico and that was it.

“I had to play the sporting game not to have him be overtaken as well. Not the way I want to go racing, but what I had to do.”

Hamilton was involved in contact with the Aston Martins at the start of the race and then was left frustrated by Magnussen’s defense, although he later received a retrospective drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane that demoted him from eighth at the checkered flag to 16th place.

“I feel OK,” Hamilton said. “It’s obviously tough battling out there. Of course Turn 1 wasn’t intentional to be touching with anyone, but everyone’s pushing as much as possible. I went for a gap but I think those guys went wide and then came back across so that’s kind of where we connected.

“And then after that was just fighting, trying to get past [the Haas cars]. It was really tough battling, but I would just enjoy that I was racing. I wasn’t going backwards at least. The penalty, definitely it sucks, but it’s one point.”

Story originally appeared on Racer