Don’t ask Kevin Magnussen about Max Verstappen’s F1 2023 title chances…

Sam Cooper
Kevin Magnussen celebrates pole alongside Max Verstappen and George Russell. Sao Paulo, November 2022.

Kevin Magnussen celebrates pole alongside Max Verstappen and George Russell. Sao Paulo, November 2022.

He may be a Formula 1 driver but Kevin Magnussen does not believe he is the best judge for who will win the title in 2023.

Given the differences in their teams’ car performances, it is not often that Magnussen and Max Verstappen occupy similar parts of the track. Their closest action came during the Sao Paulo sprint race after the Haas man pulled off a shock pole and started a place ahead of Verstappen.

But for the most part, Magnussen spent his time in the second half of the grid in 2022 while Verstappen battled away at the top.

It is for that reason that the Dane does not believe he is the best person to ask about if the Dutchman can secure his third consecutive World Championship.

When asked by Sky Sports’ Craig Slater if he believed Verstappen was the lead contender for the title again in 2023, Magnussen said he was not the best person to assess the situation.

“I’m not the right person to ask, I don’t watch any of the races!” the Dane said.

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“Max definitely looked strong last year. [It was] unbelievable how he did and how Red Bull did so, you know, they’ll be a safe bet to go with that again, but things can change around in F1 in a minute.”

While Haas were a long way off Red Bull in 2022, they head into 2023 with a renewed sense of optimism as the funds provided by new title sponsor MoneyGram have allowed them to reach the $140 million cost cap.

Magnussen said it felt like a “lot of good things” were happening in the team and that he had the feeling it was “going to be an exciting year.”

“All I can say is that it feels like there’s just a lot of good things happening in the team,” the 30-year-old said. “Last year was good. We made a good step forward in terms of performance but also we were able to attract MoneyGram as a title sponsor, along with a few others as well.

“It just feels like everything is early and ready and at a better quality and when you look at the car, it looks just like it [has] evolved in a nice way.

“So the gut feeling is good. I’m really looking forward to driving the thing and I have a feeling that it is going to be an exciting year.”