Magnussen stronger and wiser

Date published: February 11 2016 - Editor

Renault recruit Kevin Magnussen said the events that transpired during his tenure at McLaren in late 2014 had a positive effect on his character.

Magnussen, who feels that he had produced a more than adequate debut campaign at the Formula One team, was relegated to the reserve driver role when the team announced the arrival of Fernando Alonso ahead of the 2015 campaign.

As a result the past two years have been somewhat of a rollercoaster for the Dane but he does think that he has emerged a stronger person because of it.

“It’s been character building,” Magnussen told Renault fans this week.

“I had a season in 2014 with McLaren and I felt it went quite well, pitched against a past World Champion (Jenson Button),” added Magnussen.

“To be replaced the following year was tough even if the line-up of the team used was very strong. I had been racing every year since I was six so to sit to the side certainly wasn’t part of my plan,” he added.

Naturally, the 2016 campaign will present the ideal opportunity for him to rebuild his career and he is as confident as he ever been that some of his more immediate objectives will be realised.

“Hopefully I’ll prove many points,” said Magnussen.

“I’m extremely motivated after a whole year away. I’ve been sitting on the sideline during the races for so many weekends and I’m hungry to come back and prove my worth. I’ve raced my whole life and I’m extremely hungry and keen,” he added.

The Dane does not think that the transition to Renault will be a difficult one, because he is familiar with the brand and what it strives to achieve.

“I’m familiar with the brand as I’ve raced in the junior categories such as Formula Renault 2.0, and was 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 series winner.

“In my mind that’s a nice connection to have and I remember my seasons in World Series by Renault well and they were great,” he said.

Magnussen thinks that his absence from the sport has also provided ample opportunity for him to focus on some facets of his performance that perhaps required a little more attention. He feels that the brief sabbatical might have actually been a positive thing.

“Without racing last year I actually had more time to train and I feel very fit because of that,” said Magnussen.

“I’m physically ready. I’ve not had a lot of time in a race car but the time I had, I felt good. I was always surprised at how quickly I re-adapted to driving after time out of the car. I was pretty much immediately on the pace when I tested the Porsche Le Mans car and I’ve been on it whenever I’ve been in an F1 car. I’m ready.”