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Formula 1

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was furious with race control after his front wing was damaged in a collision with Lewis Hamilton at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

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After a strong qualifying session for Haas, Magnussen qualified fifth alongside teammate Mick Schumacher. However, his aspirations of a solid points finish were dashed after a first-lap collision with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, which damaged his front wing.

For several laps, Magnussen’s right-hand side endplate was dangling off the side of the wing, which was noticed by chasing Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.

While Haas told Magnussen that the damage would have “very little consequence,” Ocon disagreed. “Yeah, I can see it’s hanging on, it’s going to fall,” Ocon stated on the radio after being told by the team. I’m going to punch it in the face if he loses it.”

Knowing that FIA race control would be listening in, Ocon was plainly campaigning for Magnussen to be given the black and orange flag and sent to the pits for repairs, which he dutifully received when he was told to box at the end of lap 7.

Afterward, Magnussen was irritated by how he believed Ocon was able to influence race control, claiming that the Frenchman even approached him to make a joke about how he helped move his competition out of the way.

“I was just talking to Ocon about it, and he was kidding about how he told the FIA it was extremely awful,” Magnussen explained. “You’re going to do it if you know you can influence the FIA like that, aren’t you?” Which he did in a way, and it was all in good fun.

“However, you have to let us drive with such nonsense; it’s nothing.” I only had a brief encounter, nothing major. After a minor scratch on my front wing, I was advised to pit.”

Magnussen, who had expressed his concern for race control’s inconsistency last week in Baku, says his black and orange flag was another example of how it’s hard for drivers and teams to figure out what the rules are.

He stated, “The automobile was fine.” “The front wing was not broken off, thus it was safe.

“Think back to Jeddah last year, Lewis Hamilton won the race with half a front wing, which I think is correct. Let’s see how fast we can go.

“It feels like everything has changed all of a sudden.” In Monaco they don’t start us because it started drizzling, and then here I’m called in because I have a scratch on my front wing.”

Going off-strategy so early ruined Magnussen’s race, as the team failed to make an ambitious one stopper on hard tyres work, leaving the Dane to finish down in 17th.

“We tried to do the rest of the race on one set of hards, [which was] always going to be difficult,” he added.

“You’re still trying to fight your way into the points, you never know what can happen, so you’re pushing as hard as you can. Nothing came out of it today, but we’ll try again next time.”

To complete Haas’ Canadian nightmare, Schumacher retired from eighth early on with a suspected power unit issue, meaning the German’s quest for his first career points continues.