Latest News / Interview

Kevin Magnussen Q&A: It's frustrating to be penalised again

07 Sep 2014

For the second race in succession, Kevin Magnussen finished higher on the road than he did in the final classification after he was handed a five-second penalty for forcing Williams’ Valtteri Bottas off the track. But whilst the Danish rookie was frustrated by the stewards’ decision, he told reporters that there were plenty of positives to take away from Italy…

Q: Kevin, you had an amazing start to the race…

Kevin Magnussen: Yes, it was - I was P2 into the first corner! Then I fell back as I had expected, but that start really went down well for me. Of course the outcome was not really so fantastic - bagging only one point - but that’s racing. There you go!

Q: You were handed a five-second stop-go penalty after the stewards judged that you’d forced Bottas off the track at the first chicane - what did you think about that?

KM: It does not matter what I think about it, as it will not change anything. I have to look at it and see and do something different next time. Apart from that I really enjoyed the race and there are a lot of positive things to take away.

Q: Can you talk us through your view of the situation?

KM: I was braking really late - as late as I could - and was moved to the right. Bottas is such a fair driver so there was no reason to put him off of the track. I am sad that this situation turned into a penalty because I really enjoyed racing against him as he is such a great driver.

Q: Your penalty today came off the back of the race in Spa where you were also penalised and lost points…

KM: Yes, Spa was also a shame not to get those points - especially as we are fighting so close with other teams in the constructors’ championship. So yes, it was really frustrating. But it didn’t take away anything from my performance in the race - just as today’s penalty didn’t. Yes, I made a mistake in Spa - a small one - and got a big punishment. Today: I have to look at the video and learn. But of course it is frustrating.

Q: Ron Dennis is said to have told you after Spa to keep on racing - just to be a bit more careful…

KM: I was a bit more careful: this time the penalty was five seconds and not 20.

Q: There has been a lot of discussion about the changes at Parabolica - one of the most iconic corners in Formula One racing. How much has the insertion of the asphalt run-off area changed things?

KM: It’s a bit of a shame, but in the end it’s still a great circuit. In fact Parabolica was always key to a good lap here: it starts your lap because you really need a good exit out of there, and it finishes your lap as it is the last corner - so it can make all the difference.

Q: How was your experience with the car overall this weekend? McLaren are improving step-by-step…

KM: Yes, I think so. Today the car felt really good. Also braking felt good, so yes, despite that penalty I leave Monza with high hopes that we will catch up even further in Singapore. I have never driven that track - I only know it from simulator work - but I am very much looking forward to it.

Q: The most important issue for you must be the fact that neither Jenson [Button] nor yourself have been confirmed by McLaren for the 2015 season. How much pressure is there to convince the team to keep you?

KM: Of course it is not a comfortable feeling not to know where you will hang your helmet next year, so all I can do at the moment is to do my best for the team. I do trust the team a lot that they will be back at the top again - and of course I want to be part of that. So all I can do is my best and hopefully it is enough that they want to keep me.