Magnussen: F1 father helped more than hurt

Date published: April 22 2020 - Michelle Foster

Kevin Magnussen 2020 pa

Kevin Magnussen reckons his dad’s time in Formula 1 “helped me more than it’s hurt me” as he looked to make his own way into the sport.

Magnussen’s father, Jan, made his Formula 1 debut in 1995, contesting the Pacific Grand Prix with McLaren before joining Stewart for a full season in 1997.

His relationship with Stewart, and Formula 1, ended midway through the 1998 season.

However, during that time he built relationships that would one day pave the way in part for his son to enter Formula 1.

Almost two decades after Jan’s only race with McLaren, the younger Magnussen made his Formula 1 debut with the Woking team.

He spent a season racing for McLaren before moving onto Renault and now Haas.

Asked by a Racer reader how he coped with the pressure of being compared to his father, Magnussen said he felt it had been beneficial in his earlier years.

“I wouldn’t really say it’s something I needed to cope with,” he said.

“Of course, there was some extra pressure, but then on the other hand, there were some benefits as well.

“The fact that I had a motor racing father who was in F1 and had some success, it meant that some important people and teams paid attention to me.

“When I was getting results, it got noticed.

“I would think the fact that I’ve had my dad be a racing driver has helped me more than it’s hurt me, for sure.”

Following his days in Formula 1, Jan focused on endurance racing, taking four class victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Magnussen hopes to one day line up alongside his dad in the prestigious race.

“I don’t know if there’s any chance, but it is something we would love to do and have talked about for a long time,” he said.

“So far, the right opportunity hasn’t really arrived. If we get a good opportunity though, we’d jump at it.”

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