Despite drawing criticism from several of his peers in recent races, Haas' Kevin Magnussen is not about to drop his aggressive style as he feels vindicated by the lack of penalties which have gone his way in recent races.
Magnussen was in the thick of the action in Malaysia, being branded an "idiot" by Fernando Alonso during the race before a battle with Jolyon Palmer which left the Renault driver spinning at Turn 1. Alonso's radio rant referred to Palmer's teammate Nico Hulkenberg being correct in his put-down after the Hungarian Grand Prix that Magnussen is "the most unsportive driver on the grid", which prompted the Dane's now-famous retort of "suck my balls, mate".
Haas boss Guenther Steiner has defended Magnussen's feisty on-track style, saying it is the only way to gain respect from other drivers. With Haas involved in the tight midfield battle this year, Magnussen says there is no option but to scrap for every position.
"I think it's pretty simple," Magnussen said when asked about his latest clash. "We're not in a position to just drive into the points , we need to fight hard to stay in the points if we find ourselves there and I often find myself further up at the beginning of the race because when everyone is together it's easier to fight your way up and to make positions.
"Once everything settles, your race pace is more important and sometimes when you're in eighth position or whatever and you're not fast enough, you have to fight."
"I'd prefer to be in a situation that I didn't have to fight so hard to keep people behind and I could just drive my way into the points. There is a difference in the way you have to drive if you're fast or if you're not fast. If you're trying to get points and you're not really fast enough to be in the top 10 then you really have to fight.
"If you're fighting for the world championship then perhaps you don't want to fight as hard, play it more safe and play the championship. In terms of our position in the championship we really have to fight for the maximum and try and get a point. Or two, or six.... You might get anything and you just have to go for it, it's very low chance of consistent points throughout the year."
With his team in full support of him, Magnussen says the only other opinion he cares about is that of the stewards.
"I expect anyone to make it as hard [to overtake] as possible, I don't expect anyone not to make it hard. I think everyone is maxed out on trying to make it hard for each other. What matters to me is what the stewards think and I know that I'm pushing hard and that's my intention, so if it's fine for the stewards it's fine."