MONZA, Italy — Kevin Magnussen has accused Fernando Alonso of disrespect, saying he would have rather hanged himself than let the Spaniard pull off his controversial move in qualifying at the Italian Grand Prix.
Magnussen and Alonso were involved in a bizarre incident at the end of Q2. Having been slow on his warm-up lap, Alonso had been passed by Magnussen on the run down to the final corner, Parabolica.
Instead of slowing down himself to create a gap for a lap of his own, Alonso immediately chased Magnussen down the long run to Turn 1, pulled up alongside him and tried to pass the Danish driver around the outside. The moment compromised both drivers’ laps and cost Magnussen what had looked like being a comfortable passage to Q3.
Explaining what happened, Magnussen said: « We were kind of six or eight cars in a bit of a group, and at the exit of Ascari, Fernando was warming his brakes I think, not going fast.
« 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. »
After the incident, Alonso — who will leave F1 at the end of 2018 — had opened up his radio channel to laugh and say: « Magnussen wants to race! »
The Dane said the two-time world champion acted in a similar fashion after the session.
« He came to me after qualifying and laughed to my face. Just outright disrespectful. I can’t wait for him to retire. »
Magnussen said he would not expect any different behaviour from Alonso, given his track record in F1.
« 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. »
When Magnussen’s quotes were read back to Alonso during a McLaren session shortly afterwards, the Spaniard was asked if he had anything to say, to which he said: « Nothing ».
Giving his side of things, Alonso said: « 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 stewards took no further action, saying the incident « did not specifically constitute unnecessary impeding by either driver ».