Magnussen wants team-driver communication rule updated
Posted On July 31, 2020
Kevin Magnussen says Formula 1 should review and update the rule that governs team-driver communication after the penalties handed to Haas’ drivers in Hungary.
Both Magnussen and Grosjean were asked to pit at the end of the formation lap in the Hungarian Grand Prix in order to swap their wet tyres for slicks, a bold strategy call that paid handsome dividends for the Danish driver.
However, after the event, the communication was deemed by the stewards to have been a breach of Article 27.1 of F1’s sporting rules which stipulates that a driver must “drive the car alone and unaided”.
The rule implies that, save for messages pertaining to safety, a team cannot order or advise a driver to execute a strategic pit stop on the formation lap.
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Magnussen and Grosjean were handed 10-second time penalties, a punishment which fortunately kept the former in the points, but the Dane believes the rule should be updated to allow for pre-race strategy calls.
“[The rules] were meant to stop us fiddling around with clutch settings and race start procedures, to try and make the race starts more random,” explained Magnussen.
“I don’t think they were meant to stop strategic calls before the race, but it is what it is.
“And maybe they need to look at it for that – for strategic calls – because I think if we aren’t allowed to do that that is going to take away from the show.
“I think it’s exciting when you have these conditions where it’s like right on the crossover that you can see these strategic calls.
“It would be good if they could allow that clearly in the rules, I don’t think it was 100% clear.
“I didn’t know [about the 10s penalty] until I landed in Denmark after the race on Sunday.
“So I hadn’t thought about it because in my mind we’re not allowed to talk about any procedures – the guys aren’t allowed to give us any instructions on burnouts and any driving aids on the formation lap.
“So I didn’t feel like we did that – it was communication only about whether to pit or not. Not even whether to pit or not – it was basically just ‘pit’ and I said ‘pit for dry tyres’ and that’s what they did.
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“I wouldn’t say it was completely clear – not completely straightforward. But at the end of the day it is what it is.”
Asked whether the team would repeat the call if it found itself in similar circumstances, Magnussen was adamant it would.
“Yeah, of course, but we would change the way we do it to try and not get a penalty,” he said.
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