F1
Nate Saunders, F1 Associate Editor 16d

Guenther Steiner pleased Kevin Magnussen is standing up for himself

Formula 1, AutoRacing

Haas boss Guenther Steiner says he has no fear of Kevin Magnussen developing a "bad-boy image" in Formula One as he feels that would be the result of standing up for himself in wheel-to-wheel battles with rivals.

Magnussen has at the centre of several notable incidents this season, the most notable of which came in Hungary when he forced Renault's Nico Hulkenberg off the circuit late in the race. The two clashed in the TV pen after the grand prix, with Hulkenberg sarcastically congratulating the Haas driver for being "the most unsportive driver on the grid", to which Magnussen replied with a response -- "suck my balls, mate" -- which went viral on social media immediately afterwards.

That incident was referenced again during the Malaysian Grand Prix, with an irate Fernnado Alonso responding to his own clash with Magnussen with: "What an idiot! Hulkenberg was right!" Before the race was over Magnussen had also tangled with Jolyon Palmer, with contact pitching the Renault driver into a spin at Turn 1.

Steiner thinks Alonso's complaints were more due to the fact he is not used to other drivers battling him for position.

"I think Alonso is used [to] everybody just letting him by because he's a very charismatic, very good driver, very vocal, very tough guy," Steiner said. "If somebody stands up... That is how we got the reputation by doing like this.

"Somebody will knock him off like everybody has been knocked off at some stage in life. I think it's nothing more. They both pushed to the limit and that is what people want to see. They didn't run into each other so it's OK."

When asked if he fears Magnussen could gain a reputation as F1's "bad-boy", Steiner replied: "To get any standing you need to go through rough patches. You cannot say 'now I am here and everyone else has to move', you need to have the respect.

"If you always give in... That is what we are now, everyone just expects to drive past and you need to stand up as long as you are not a bully. I think once all these drivers get better they fight their corner and their space and I think it's quite natural to do that. At first you can get a bad reputation and then you can get a good one."

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