KEVIN MAG­NUSSEN

F1 Racing (UK) - - SEASON PREVIEW 2018 TORO ROSSO -

Just like his fa­ther Jan, also a one-time Mclaren pro­tégé, Kevin Mag­nussen ex­udes a laid-back de­meanour. In any wheel-to-wheel – or even face-to-face – con­fronta­tion, K-mag is un­ruf­fled. Take last year’s Hun­gar­ian Grand Prix as an ex­am­ple, af­ter which Mag­nussen picked up two penalty points on his su­per­li­cence as a re­sult of a con­tretemps with Re­nault’s Nico Hülkenberg.

On lap 62 Hülkenberg at­tempted to pass Mag­nussen on the out­side of Turn 2 – and in the words of the stew­ards was “a lit­tle ahead” – when Mag­nussen con­tin­ued to use the full width of the track, forc­ing the Re­nault off.

Pre-empt­ing the stew­ards’ judge­ment, a still-fu­ri­ous Hülkenberg ap­proached Mag­nussen in the TV pen, gate­crash­ing a live in­ter­view to con­grat­u­late him sar­cas­ti­cally on be­ing “the most un­sport­ing driver on the grid”. K-mag’s in­stant re­join­der was the stuff that memes are made of: “Suck on my balls, honey.”

On track Mag­nussen has a bad-boy rep­u­ta­tion be­cause he’s a hard-nosed, give-no-quar­ter racer, some­thing that the fans love to see – but some­thing which can also get him into trou­ble with the FIA stew­ards.

Of the cur­rent driv­ers on the grid, Mag­nussen has ac­crued more penalty points on his su­per­li­cence than any­one else, 14 in to­tal (four from 2014, four from 2016 and six last year).

Points are re­moved af­ter 12 months, so his cur­rent tally is six, but if he notches up 12 within a year he’ll earn a one-race ban. The first ‘live’ point on his su­per­li­cence ex­pires on 30 April, 2018, 12 months on from when he was given a penalty for “leav­ing the track and fail­ing to re­join as in­structed” at Turn 2 in Sochi.

Last year he ac­crued his other points in Canada (when he over­took Stof­fel Van­doorne be­hind the Safety Car) and in Austin, when he was deemed to have im­peded Ser­gio Pérez in qual­i­fy­ing.

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