Dumped Magnussen targets ‘next step’ up

Date published: October 22 2020 - Jon Wilde

Kevin Magnussen Haas

Kevin Magnussen believes he is capable of “taking the next step” in Formula 1 – despite being dumped by the Haas team.

Confirmation arrived on the eve of the Portuguese Grand Prix weekend that Magnussen and his colleague Romain Grosjean were being released by Haas after four years together as their driver line-up.

Grosjean revealed that team principal Guenther Steiner had told him the reasons for the decision were entirely financial, with Haas expected to bring in two young drivers who can offer more in terms of sponsorship revenue.

Magnussen’s confidence has clearly not been affected by being told he is losing his job and still feels he could cut the mustard with a team further up the grid than Haas – not that opportunities for 2021 are likely to be available to him.

“I’m still only 28 years old and been in Formula 1 for some years with McLaren, Renault and four years with Haas, so I feel like I’ve got a lot of experience,” the Dane told Sky Sports F1.

“I still feel young, yet very experienced and way more rounded as a driver than I was in the past. It’s funny because in a way I feel very ready to take that next step, yet I find myself in this situation. Formula 1 is a place where I feel I still have more to achieve and more to give.”

Magnussen acknowledged the attraction of drivers bringing more to the table than simply their talent behind the wheel was a difficult lure for Haas to resist, especially given the uncertain circumstances caused by the global health pandemic.

“It would be wrong for me to speak on behalf of the team, but it’s clear I can’t bring what some of the other drivers out there can bring,” said Magnussen, whose best result for Haas so far was fifth in the Malaysian and Austrian Grands Prix of 2018.

“I can bring me as a driver and try to do a good job. But in this day and age, especially this year with the current situation of the world, it isn’t easy if you can’t bring any more than just your driving.

“Four years together you kind of grow into a bit of a family and it’s always sad to see that end, to leave a lot of people I’ve come to like and worked well together [with] so it’s sad. But we’ll see what happens in the future, so a little bit exciting at the same time.”

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