Weight of title aspirations have gone for Magnussen

Jamie Woodhouse
Kevin Magnussen up close in the Haas. Saudi Arabia March 2022

Danish driver Kevin Magnussen up close in the Haas. Saudi Arabia March 2022

Kevin Magnussen said he returned to Formula 1 with Haas in 2022 free of the goal to become a Formula 1 World Champion.

Magnussen came into Formula 1 as a part of the McLaren team in 2014, his career getting off to the perfect start as he claimed a podium on debut, securing P2 at the Australian Grand Prix.

That proved to be the only podium in Magnussen’s career though before he left the series at the end of 2020, at that stage unlikely to return as he went in search of a series where he could rediscover the winning feeling.

But when Haas removed Nikita Mazepin from their line-up ahead of the 2022 season, it opened the door for Magnussen to make a comeback, having raced with Haas between 2017-20.

And now that he is back, Magnussen said he is racing free from the self-inflicted weight of becoming World Champion in Formula 1.

“I think it’s different. Again, because I closed that chapter and I kind of got to a point where I accepted that that wasn’t going to happen,” he said, quoted by Motorsport.com.

“And now coming back, I just take it as day-by-day kind of thing. I try to focus on the job, try and have fun, push everything I can.

“I don’t feel like I have this big weight on my shoulders of expectation. I would love to be Formula 1 champion. It’s still as much a dream, but I don’t think I have the same kind of expectation. If it happens, I’d be super happy.

“And I’m here now in the sport, I have a seat, so everything is possible. But I don’t feel like some weight off my shoulders [sic].”

Kevin Magnussen waves to fans at the Australian GP. Melbourne April 2022.
Kevin Magnussen waves to fans on arrival at the Australian Grand Prix. Melbourne April 2022.

Magnussen would explain that while he left Formula 1 a frustrated figure after the 2020 season, unhappy about what he could not achieve, his season away made him appreciate what he had.

So this too plays a part in his new mindset after returning.


“Yeah, that happens to everyone, whatever it is. Sometimes when you lose something, you realise what you had,” said the Danish racer.

“And certainly, when I was out last year, I looked back at my Formula 1 career and felt very grateful suddenly.

“I was grateful before, but not in the same way. I was more frustrated with a lot of things and so focused on where I wasn’t: focused on the fact that I wasn’t winning, rather than actually happy about being in Formula 1.

“I wasn’t really able to appreciate it, so things have changed a little bit.”


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