Kevin Magnussen saw his hopes of reaching Q3 dashed on Saturday after a bizarre clash with Fernando Alonso – an incident which compromised both drivers’ last-gasp flying laps - and the Haas driver has laid the blame firmly on his McLaren rival…
The pair squabbled during the final stages of the second phase of qualifying, after Alonso attempted to pass Magnussen round the outside of the first corner, but the latter didn’t give up his position.
The tussle - which was investigated by the stewards who ruled no action was required - ultimately saw Alonso run wide exiting the section, and they both missed out on the chance to fight it out in the top-ten shootout.
Alonso laughed off the encounter on team radio and later suggested that Magnussen should have given up the place. However, the Dane fired back in post-session interviews, claiming that Alonso was ‘disrespectful’ and ‘thinks he's a god’.
Magnussen explained: "We were kind of six or eight cars in a bit of a group, and at the exit of Ascari, Fernando was warming his brakes I think, not going fast. I'm going fast so I just cruised past him.
“But then for some reason he tries to accelerate and get close to me instead of creating a gap like everyone else is doing. Obviously he got a perfect slipstream and thought he could overtake into Turn 1, but I'd rather hang myself.
"He thought he could have the perfect slipstream and overtake me and then gain. I'm not going to let him past me and sacrifice my own lap. No way. He thinks he's God, but no way."
Moments after the incident, Alonso – who will leave F1 at the end of this season – radioed to his team with a hint of laughter: "Magnussen wants to race!"
Asked whether he had spoken to the Spaniard about the incident, Magnussen added: “He came to me after qualifying and laughed to my face. It's just outright disrespectful. I can’t wait for him to retire.
“I don’t care to speculate why he did it. I think it was pretty stupid and not necessary.”
Alonso, however, refused to accept the blame for the unusual incident, with the two-time world champion suggesting Magnussen’s decision to not give up his position ‘was not a very clever move’.
“I think on the out lap we were all together with three and four seconds between the cars. At the last moment inside the Parabolica he decided to fill the gap I was opening with the car in front and we started the lap together.
“You arrive into Turn 1 together and it was not a very clever move. For me it doesn’t change much because I probably couldn’t be in Q3 today anyway with the performance. For him he could be in Q3 and he decided in the last moment something that is maybe not very clever.”
Alonso ended up qualifying 13th, two places behind Magnussen.