Jolyon Palmer has questioned whether the FIA are taking a stricter approach to calling damaged cars to the pits after recent incidents were dealt with differently to one involving Lewis Hamilton in 2021.
Kevin Magnussen was shown a black and orange flag during the early stages of the Canadian Grand Prix due to sustaining damage to his front wing during a battle with Hamilton.
The right-side endplate had been dangling off the front wing, prompting Esteban Ocon – who was following Magnussen on track – to voice his concerns over the radio about the piece potentially becoming loose and hitting him.
As such, the flag came out for Magnussen, forcing him to take a pit-stop to repair the damage. This subsequently dropped him to the back of the field.
Palmer points to Hamilton incident at Saudi Arabia
Palmer has pointed out that the Magnussen incident bore similarities to what happened to Hamilton during the 2021 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Hamilton suffered similar damage to Magnussen following a battle with title rival Max Verstappen, but was not shown a black and orange flag, allowing him to stay out and fight Verstappen for the win.
“The big one that we saw, just about 10 races ago now, was when Lewis Hamilton hit the back of Max Verstappen in Jeddah,” Palmer explained in a race analysis video for F1 TV.
“Now Lewis didn’t have to pit and didn’t get a black and orange flag for damage that looked pretty similar to Kevin Magnussen’s in the Haas this year.
“The damage was very similar, and Hamilton crucially didn’t have to pit to sort that out, he could stay on and win the race.
“It could have been so different if Hamilton had to pit to sort that out. So maybe [it’s] the FIA just tightening that up. It’s a safety issue, a potential safety issue, in calling Magnussen into the pits.”
Will the black and orange flag be shown more often?
The incident for Magnussen follows on from Yuki Tsunoda being shown a black and orange flag one week earlier at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to an issue with his rear wing.
“Maybe we’re going to see more drivers get these black and orange flags because now, twice in a row, with Yuki Tsunoda’s rear wing in Baku and Magnussen’s front wing in Montreal, it’s derailed their entire Grand Prix for a little bit of damage,” Palmer commented.
On the Magnussen incident, the former F1 driver added: “On one hand, you’d say, ‘Okay, fair enough’, that maybe could go a little bit further, that could be a hazard for the driver behind and so you can understand, in one respect, the black and orange flag.
“But we haven’t seen many of these flags for front wing damages before. Magnussen wasn’t shedding parts, it was just flailing around a little bit.”