Albon Disagrees With Penalty For Magnussen's 'Cheeky' Move

Thursday, 14 March 2024 at 00:00
magnussen kevin haas4 latphoto
Alex Albon reacted to the two penalties that Kevin Magnussen received during the second race of the season.
Williams Racing F1 driver Alex Albon started the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix from P12 and crossed the finish line in the final P11 position behind Nico Hulkenberg, who scored one point for Haas.
Alex Albon could have fought for the P10, but his progress was hindered by Kevin Magnussen, who overtook him by squeezing him into the wall.
The Haas driver received a 10-second penalty for the incident, and Albon asserted it was fair. As reported by, he said:

"I think that was fair. It happens, a bit of a squeeze. I don't like how that corner is shaped. It sticks out to you. And I think it's very misleading."

However, Magnussen then continued on to illegally overtake Yuki Tsunoda as he gained an advantage by going outside the track.
The Dane received ten more seconds for this illegal overtake, but he found himself in P11, with Nico Hulkenberg in P10. Knowing his race was destroyed, his strategy was clear.
Magnussen started with much slower lap times than his teammate while keeping the rest of the field behind him. This allowed Nico Hulkenberg to make a free pit stop and finish the race comfortably in P10. Albon labeled it "cheeky":

"The other one was a bit cheeky, the other 10-second one with Yuki. I mean, you basically guarantee your teammate points for a 10-second penalty."

"Why wouldn't you do that everywhere? I don't think five to 10 seconds is correct. I think it needs to be you must return the position back, and just leave it like that."

The F1 team can now be divided into three groups: Red Bull in the lead, four equally matched chasers behind, and equally matched teams in the back that won't finish in the points unless someone from the top 5 makes a mistake.
Albon pointed out that the five teams at the back are lucky to have one driver in the points, so they are very likely to sacrifice one driver if the FIA allows it.

"You saw it this weekend. I think any team would do the same thing if you sacrifice one driver for guaranteed points."

"Maybe the top teams won't do it. But the midfield teams who need to take points at any opportunity, you would do it every single time. I think you might see more drivers doing it just to guarantee a team-mate to have points."