#20 KEVIN MAGNUSSEN
A podium on début was a false dawn for Kevin Magnussen when he reached Formula 1. Dropped by McLaren after a single season, his career was salvaged by Renault in 2016, before the Dane moved to Haas in 2017. He left the sport at the end of the 2020 season.
|Full Name||Kevin Jan Magnussen|
|Date of Birth||5th October 1992|
|First Race||2014 Australian Grand Prix|
Three years before Jan Magnussen made his F1 début, his son, Kevin, was born in Roskilde, Denmark. After showing well throughout his karting career, Kevin stepped up to the Danish Formula Ford Championship in 2008, winning the title at just fifteen years old. A year in Formula Renault followed, and he took a win in the Northern European championship on his way to finishing in the runner-up spot for the year, behind the dominant António Félix da Costa. German Formula Three was Magnussen’s home for 2010, where he impressively won his first race in the series and ended the year third overall. In the same year, he was invited to join McLaren’s young driver roster. The following season he finished runner-up to Felipe Nasr in the British Formula 3 International Series, before competing in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series for the next two years. He won the title in that series with DAMS in 2013.
Meanwhile, Magnussen had enjoyed his first taste of F1 in 2012, when he competed in the young drivers test at Abu Dhabi with McLaren. The team, impressed with his progress, signed up the Dane to replace Sergio Perez for the 2014 season. On his arrival in F1, Magnussen finished on the podium in his début race. He was unable to reach such heights again throughout the year and recorded just one other finish in the top six as McLaren slipped off the pace. He was unceremoniously dumped from driving duties at the end of his first season, only to be put back in the car for the first race of the 2015 season following Fernando Alonso’s winter testing crash. The Dane failed to make it to the start of the race due to engine issues on McLaren Honda’s first race of their renewed partnership. He spent the rest of the season on the sidelines as the team’s test and reserve driver. Magnussen parted ways with McLaren in October 2015 and courted with Haas and Manor for a potential drive in 2016.
In February 2016 it was announced that Magnussen would join the Renault team for the upcoming season. The team was far from the pace on their return to the sport, and Magnussen finished a best of seventh during his year in yellow. A hefty crash through Eau Rouge in Spa came very much at the wrong time and, with Renault unable to guarantee him a seat past the end of the 2017 season, Magnussen looked elsewhere for a drive. Haas announced him as one of their 2017 drivers in November 2016.
Magnussen picked up a bad boy image in 2017, colliding with four rivals over the course of the year. He opened his season with a crash with Marcus Ericsson and then crashed with Daniil Kvyat in Spain, Fernando Alonso in Malaysia and most notably Nico Hulkenberg in Hungary, which led to an interesting confrontation between the pair post-race. At times when the Haas car was struggling, Magnussen held things together better than team-mate Romain Grosjean, such as in Azerbaijan where the Dane finished a season-best seventh. His season also had a trio of strong eighth place finishes.
In 2018, Magnussen remained at the same team for a second season for the first time in his career, and appeared a more well-rounded driver, often out-performing his team-mate. Running in fourth in Australia, he was let down by the Haas team after a botched pit-stop forced his retirement from the race. He delivered a strong race at the next round in Bahrain to collect a fifth place finish – a season-best result which he’d equal at the Austrian Grand Prix. There were a few more moments of recklessness from the Dane in 2018 – most notably almost forcing Pierre Gasly into the wall in Azerbaijan, leading to the Frenchman naming Magnussen as his ‘most dangerous’ rival – but less so than in the previous season.
After finishing ahead of Grosjean in the Drivers’ Standings, can Kevin Magnussen become the Haas team’s lead driver in 2019?
MAGNUSSEN IN 2019
Kevin Magnussen recorded his equal-worst championship result in 2019, but scored fifteen more points this year than he did in 2016 when he last finished sixteenth in the standings.
While Magnussen had the upper hand over his team-mate in qualifying, in the races that both Haas drivers finished, Romain Grosjean finished ahead more regularly. Regardless, it was Magnussen who scored the majority of Haas’ points in 2019. He scored points at four races in 2019 – Australia, Spain, Germany and Russia – including the team’s best result of the year with sixth at Albert Park.
His 2019 campaign wasn’t without its mistakes – crashes in qualifying in Canada and Japan didn’t help his cause, while collisions with his team-mate were also unwelcome. Despite this, Magnussen’s seat for 2020 never looked in doubt. Read more: Kevin Magnussen’s 2019 Season In Stats.
MAGNUSSEN IN 2020
Kevin Magnussen was the only driver who did not finish any race in a position lower than where he started in 2020. That statistic perhaps says more about the Haas’ lack of qualifying pace, with Magnussen recording fourteen Q1 exits from the seventeen races this season. Magnussen also failed to finish seven races, recording the most retirements of any driver.
The Dane scored a solitary point in 2020, finishing in tenth place at the Hungarian Grand Prix. He had finished the race in ninth place on the track, but was demoted following a time penalty. More often than not Magnussen had the upper hand on team-mate Romain Grosjean in qualifying, winning their qualifying battle 8-7. Read more: Kevin Magnussen’s 2020 Season In Stats.
Magnussen exits the Haas team at the end of 2020, bringing to an end his career in F1, at least for the time being. He will instead race in the IMSA series in 2021. Magnussen leaves F1 having made 119 starts and having scored 158 points. He remains one of only six drivers to have recorded their only podium finish on their Formula 1 debut.
KEVIN MAGNUSSEN’S F1 RECORD
|Year||Team||Final Position||Points Scored||Wins||Poles||Podiums|