Kevin Magnussen Hits Back at Fernando Alonso After Italian GP Qualifying Scrap

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2018

BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - APRIL 08: Kevin Magnussen of Denmark and Haas F1 talks with Fernando Alonso of Spain and McLaren F1 on the drivers parade before during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at Bahrain International Circuit on April 8, 2018 in Bahrain, Bahrain.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

The controversial incident between Fernando Alonso and Kevin Magnussen during Saturday's Formula 1 qualifying for the Italian Grand Prix carried over into the paddock, as the Dane went on an incredible rant. The Haas man claimed the Spaniard "think he's God" and said he "can't wait for him to retire."

As reported by ESPN's Nate Saunders, Magnussen didn't hold back one bit as he explained his version of the incident:

"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.

"He came to me after qualifying and laughed to my face. Just outright disrespectful. I can't wait for him to retire.

"I think we know Fernando is a bit of an opportunist. We've seen that quite a few times in his career with his teams as well, trying different things. Didn't always work out and it didn't work out today.

"He talks about his laps being divine and what not, he literally thinks he's a God! It's quite amusing." 

Luca Bruno/Associated Press

The two made contact in Turn 1 during the final stages of the second qualifying session, ruining both their chances of making it into Q3.

Magnussen had overtaken Alonso in the famous Parabolica corner while the Spaniard was moving slowly and appeared to be heating up his brakes. The McLaren driver didn't let a gap fall between the two, however, and tried to get back into Turn 1.

According to BBC Sport's Andrew Benson, Alonso and Magnussen weren't the only men to clash over the incident:

Andrew Benson @andrewbensonf1

Tasty. Alonso tried to get a tow from Magnussen, then to overtake him around the outside into Turn One. Both laps ruined. Then Gunther Steiner and Zak Brown have a bit of a set-to in the pit lane https://t.co/dkZGhYCziT

Alonso gave his version of the incident, saying losing out on Q3 was far worse for the Haas man:

"I think on the outlap we were all together with three and four seconds between the cars. At the last moment inside the Parabolica he decided he 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."

The Spaniard appeared to mock Magnussen over the team radio immediately following the collision, per Saunders.

Race stewards summoned both men and decided not to dole out punishment, determining the move to be a racing incident.

Most fans seemed to lean toward Magnussen's side of things, and F1 writer Chris Medland noted many would have praised Alonso had he pulled off a similar move to put himself ahead going into the lap:

Chris Medland @ChrisMedlandF1

Having seen the onboards of Alonso and Magnussen heading towards Parabolica on their warm-up laps, Magnussen catching Alonso out is the sort of move that would have been deemed brilliant opportunism if it was the other way around #F1 #ItalianGP

Two-time world champion Alonso has already announced his intention to step away from F1 at the end of the year. 

Magnussen, who previously drove for McLaren, is in his second year with Haas. He's on pace to beat his best points total in F1 (55), having already scored 49 points with eight races remaining. 


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