Kevin Magnussen

1. Who is Kevin Magnussen?

Kevin Magnussen is a Danish driver. He was born on October 5, 1992 in Roskilde (Denmark). He is currently a Formula 1 driver for the Haas F1 Team.

2. Kevin Magnussen’s junior career

Kevin is the son of Jan Magnussen, former F1 driver and four-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. After starting out in karting, Kevin launched a single-seater career at the age of 16 and won the Danish Formula Ford in his first year. The Dane then moved to Formula Renault 2.0, then to German F3, in 2010. This season, he finished 3rd in the championship, and first rookie.

In 2011, he jumped into the seat of a British F3, with Carlin, and began to make a name for himself. He scored 7 victories and finished vice-champion, behind his teammate Felipe Nasr. He then entered the big world by joining McLaren's young driver program. The British team tested him at the Abu Dhabi young drivers' tests in 2012, at the wheel of the MP4-27 of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. Kevin Magnussen impresses with his speed at such a young age (20 years old).

In 2012 and 2013, the driver completed two contrasting seasons in Formula Renault 3.5. If the content of his first exercise, still with Carlin, was just satisfactory (7th), he made a thunderous return to the forefront in 2013. This time, with DAMS, he claimed five victories, 8 additional podiums and as many pole positions, and became champion with the No. 20, which would become his favorite racing number. Having become someone who counts, the doors of Formula 1 are wide open to him.

Kevin Magnussen on an F 3.5 podium

Kevin Magnussen stands out in Formula 3.5 with DAMS.

3. Kevin Magnussen’s F1 journey

In 2014, Kevin Magnussen was announced by McLaren as driver in place of Sergio Pérez, who was unable to forget the departure of Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes. Within the Woking team, his first F1 Grand Prix took place like a dream. Qualified in 4th position, the Dane struggled like hell to reach the finish line in 3rd place, signing his first podium. Even better, Magnussen was promoted to 2nd after the fact following the disqualification of Daniel Ricciardo.

Kevin Magnussen's MP4/29 at the 2014 Australian GP.

Kevin Magnussen takes 2nd place on his debut in F1.

He becomes the first F1 driver since Jacques Villeneuve, in 1996, to finish 2nd in his first GP. The rest would be less glorious for the Danish rookie who returned to the ranks, sometimes paying for his lack of experience, although he entered the points on 11 additional occasions.

Unfortunately, Kevin Magnussen becomes the victim of the game of musical chairs in F1. After a disappointing season with Ferrari, Fernando Alonso signs a three-year contract with McLaren, now powered by Honda. Kevin Magnussen finds himself relegated to the rank of reserve driver, a role he could have played for the opening round of the 2015 season in Australia, Alonso having withdrawn (concussion), but his Honda engine, neither reliable nor efficient , explodes in the formation lap.

At the end of the year, the Dane was released by McLaren. Several options are available to him, a seat with the new American team Haas, but also with Manor, as well as tests in DTM and Endurance. It was ultimately Renault, returning to F1 after the takeover of Lotus, which secured his services. In the new French team, he is associated with Jolyon Palmer.

His return to the grid did not go as planned. He only entered the points twice and finished an anonymous 16th place in the championship.

Kevin Magnussen in the Renault F1 garage in 2016.

Kevin Magnussen fails to bounce back at Renault in 2016.

The following year, he took the plunge and joined Haas F1 Team, replacing Esteban Guttiérez. From 2017 to 2020, he was associated with Frenchman Romain Grosjean. At Haas, Kevin Magnussen will alternate between the good, the correct and the downright bad. It took him a year to adapt to the particularities of Haas, the least wealthy team in Formula 1, before signing, in 2018, the best season of his career. He finished more than half of the races in the points and finished 5th in the Bahrain and Austrian Grand Prix.

Kevin Magnussen's Haas VF-18 during the 2018 United States GP.

Kevin Magnussen is having a very good 2018 season with Haas.

Unfortunately, the 2019 season heralds the beginning of the end for Haas, and its two drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean. The American team sees its delay in development and performance increase and sees itself relegated to the back of the F1 grid. After a painful 2020 season (1 point) and disappointing results, Kevin Magnussen is shown the door. Decision was made at Haas to sacrifice the 2021 championship and name two rookies: Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher. The Dane leaves and then thinks about leaving Haas, and turning the page on Formula 1, during the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (14th).

In 2022, Russia's invasion of Ukraine causes upheaval at Haas F1, largely supported by a Russian sponsor, Uralkali. Nikita Mazepin, whose links with Uralkali helped finance his career, disembarked, leaving Mick Schumacher alone on board. But not for long because, at Haas, the idea of ​​a return of Magnussen is gaining ground. Finally, the Dane broke his commitments in Endurance and, without having completed the tests with Haas, signed a multi-year contract with the American structure, which chose experience to support the talented, but sometimes feverish, Mick Schumacher.

Kevin Magnussen on the grid for the 2022 Austrian GP

Kevin Magnussen is back with the Haas team which he left in 2020.

From the Bahrain GP, ​​Magnussen showed that his ability to get the most out of a sometimes reluctant car has not gone away. In a state of grace, he finished 5th in Bahrain, scoring more points for Haas than in his last two seasons combined.

4. Kevin Magnussen’s Endurance Journey

Sidelined by Haas for the 2021 season, Kevin Magnussen continues projects in Endurance, a category in which his father shone. He is committed to the entire IMSA season, with the No. 01 of Chip Ganassi Racing, associated with Renger van der Zende. He won his first race in Detroit, but the Danish-Dutch tandem only finished 7th in the championship.

Kevin Magnussen preparing to drive in LMP2 at the 24 2021 Hours of Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen is competing in the 24 2021 Hours of Le Mans with his father, Jan.

He also participates, with his father Jan and Anders Fjordbach, in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in LM P2 with High Class Racing. The crew only finished 17th in their category. Finally, Magnussen is announced as one of the leading figures in the great comeback of Peugeot Sport, in Hypercar moreover, for 2022. Alas, Magnussen will never drive the 9X8, and for good reason the Dane is recalled by Haas F1 Team to support the young Mick Schumacher, until now accompanied by the Russian Nikita Mazepin.

And the return of K-Mag is in force, with a rather promising car at the start of the season... and a 5th place in the race from the opening Grand Prix. It maximizes the potential of a single-seater which proves to be capricious, capable of outbursts and blows to morale. But it doesn't matter because, during his 2022 campaign, Magnussen achieved the feat: a pole position signed on the Brazilian track... Helped by a misleading and soaked qualifying session, and a Russell who caused the saving red flag. The joy of Friday rubbed off on Saturday and a sprint race where the Dane remained in the points. But Sunday put an end to the dream: a collision and an abandonment, the 5th of the season.

It will be extended for 2023, reward for his 13th place in the Drivers' championship. He will team up with another returnee from Formula 1: Nico Hülkenberg.

5. AUTOhebdo's opinion on Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen will probably never be world champion, but the Dane's talent and speed are no match. Sometimes very virile on the track, Magnussen deserved a second chance within the Haas team, and a car capable of regularly scoring points. If the enthusiasm on the track is intact, K-Mag proves to be an excellent development driver for the American team.

Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen
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Ecurie HAAS
Age Oct 05, 1992 (31 years old)

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Track lists