Kevin Magnussen has questioned why failure to stop at the weighbridge is levied with the harsh penalty of starting a race from the pit lane after he explained he wasn’t aware he was being called to it.The Renault driver will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from the pit lane after stewards punished him for failing to stop at the weighbridge at the end of FP2 on Friday.
However, Magnussen explains that while he saw the red light to signify the stop, he thought it was for Daniil Kvyat ahead of him. As it happens, they had both been called in, but Magnussen assumed only the Red Bull driver was being signalled.
“It’s one of those things, you just learn from it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. It was a tough circumstance because normally they don’t stop two cars right behind each others, and in this case I didn’t actually miss the red light — I thought it was for someone else. Which it was, but it was also for me. It was for both of us. I was correct in saying it was for Kvyat but I didn’t know it was for me as well. It’s difficult to know, but here we are.”
However, though he accepts the penalty for what it is, he says he doesn’t understand why missing the weighbridge is penalised with a penalty that impacts his race when, should he have been found to be underweight in the session, any subsequent punishment would not have a bearing on the race.
“What is frustrating about it, even if I had stopped at the weighbridge and got caught — let’s say hypothetically I was illegal on something, underweight, rear wing too low or whatever — there’s no penalty for that in practice. So why do we penalise me for so hard because I didn’t stop?
“There’s no consequence for stopping, there’s no reason for me not to stop. It’s not a way of cheating, it’s no advantage. But there we are, that’s the rule and it’s the same for everyone — it was my turn this time.”
On what has been a difficult weekend for the Renault team, Magnussen had qualified in 19th originally, with team-mate Jolyon Palmer in 20th.