‘Not here to look after young kids’ – Kevin Magnussen’s firm warning to likely Haas driver in F1 2025

Thomas Maher
Kevin Magnussen, Haas, 2024 Miami Grand Prix.

Should Oliver Bearman be given the vacant Haas cockpit for F1 2025, he might not be able to turn to Kevin Magnussen for advice.

Haas is yet to confirm either of their drivers for the F1 2025 season, with Kevin Magnussen out of contract and Nico Hulkenberg leaving the team to join Sauber in 2025.

Kevin Magnussen: I look after young kids at home

The Danish driver had a weekend to forget in Miami, racking up more penalty points than championship points as he played rear gunner for Hulkenberg during the Sprint.

With no contract yet signed for 2025, Magnussen is facing an uneasy summer with question marks over his F1 future as Hulkenberg has had the upper hand on him more often than not over their 18 months or so together.

With Hulkenberg departing, Magnussen’s chances improve given most teams usually plump for some semblance of continuity between seasons. Put to him that the German driver leaving Haas might help his own chances, Magnussen said: “Maybe, yeah. Maybe.

“I think it’s still a very open market, lots of seats available, lots of drivers available. We’ll see how it goes.”

As for whether he’s already engaged in talks with team owner Gene Haas and new team boss Ayao Komatsu, Magnussen said: “[There have] not been concrete talks but, obviously, when you’re part of the team, you’re talking all the time. So, I think more focus is on the season than anything else.”

Should Magnussen retain his seat, the most likely candidate to slot in beside him is Haas reserve and test driver Oliver Bearman. The British driver, a product of the Ferrari Driver Academy, made his F1 debut with the Scuderia when required at short notice in Saudi Arabia, and put in a stellar display to finish seventh.

Lined up for six FP1 sessions with Haas this season, including the upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the door is wide open for the British driver to land a seat with the American squad.

But, should he do so, it’s unlikely he’ll find Magnussen to be a helping hand as the Danish driver ruled out the prospect of him ‘babysitting’ an inexperienced face.

“I’m not really here to take care of young kids, you know? I do that at home,” Magnussen said, when asked if he’d be willing to lend a hand to the young Brit.

“So, hopefully, the guy we have in the car will be competent, professional, and consistent like Nico has been, and we’ll see if I’ll be in the other car.”

With Hulkenberg’s defection to Sauber/Audi confirmed ahead of the Miami Grand Prix, Magnussen said he was surprised it had happened as he expected Haas’ driver line-up to remain the same for the final year of the current regulations.

“Honestly, I thought it would be me and Nico again next year. I thought that would be likely,” he added.

“He’s taken the opportunity with Sauber and Audi, and I wish him all the best with that. We’ll continue focusing and enjoying this year, continuing the progress that we’ve made as a team this year and, hopefully, building on that beyond this year.”

Magnussen also said that, after so many years with the Haas team over two separate stints, he’s hopeful that he’ll be around long enough to reap some of the rewards of the progress being made by the Kannapolis-based squad.

“I still feel like there’s some unfinished business here that I feel like there’s always been, I’ve been here for many years now,” he said.

“There’s always been some potential that we haven’t seemed to really exploit. I feel like now maybe we’re building a better foundation to go and exploit that potential that I feel we have. I think we have some very talented people in Haas, we’ve had that since day one, and people didn’t give us a lot of credit in the beginning.

“I’m like everyone else, focused on this year and, at the same time, open to any opportunity.”

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Ayao Komatsu: Haas ‘putting more weight’ on Oliver Bearman development

As for Bearman, who is now toiling away in Formula 2 as he awaits an opportunity in F1, Komatsu said that the English driver needs to dig deep in the junior category – not just to ensure he scores enough points to secure what he needs for an F1 super licence but also to show that he has the qualities an F1 team desire.

“It is a combination; he needs to perform in F2, for sure,” Komatsu said, as quoted by Motorsport.com.

“But, when we work with him directly, you [need to] understand all the ins and outs, all the environment or the reasoning for certain things happening.

“So yeah, I’d put probably more weight on what we do with him, how he performs in our environment. But of course, he needs to perform in F2. That’s clear.”

Embarking on the first of his six practice sessions this year, adding to what he did last year in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, Komatsu said he’s interested in seeing how the British driver develops and works with Haas this season.

“We are really looking forward to see how we can develop him and how well we can work together,” he said.

“If [a] young driver is only interested in, let’s say, going flat out everywhere showing the world how quick he is – that’s not really a mature approach.

“But Ollie is not like that. What Ollie’s shown in Mexico and then Abu Dhabi, he’s got the speed. But he really understands the bigger picture, and he can play a positive part in contributing to the team. I would like to see the continuation of that.

“Also, at some stage, he will face an issue; maybe you’ve got the car issue that maybe he loses half a session? How does he react to that? That kind of adversity. So that’d be an interesting one to see.”

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