Magnussen 'misses winning too much' for F1 sub role to appeal - The Race
Formula 1, WEC/Le Mans

Magnussen ‘misses winning too much’ for F1 sub role to appeal

Feb 9 2021
By Valentin Khorounzhiy

Peugeot’s new World Endurance Championship signing Kevin Magnussen says he doesn’t have “much interest” in substitute appearances for Haas or similar Formula 1 teams following his full-time exit from the series.

Magnussen, who spent six full seasons in F1 but never managed to add to his debut podium with McLaren in 2014, left grand prix racing after losing his Haas seat at the end of 2020.

His final season with Haas yielded just one point as the team struggled at the back of the grid.

Following the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic, capable F1 stand-ins have become more important, with Nico Hulkenberg subbing for two separate Racing Point drivers as both spent time sidelined by the coronavirus.

In that context, Haas F1 team boss Guenther Steiner told the Motorsport Network he would consider calling up Magnussen – or his former Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean – if the team needed a stand-in.

Speaking to the press in his new role as a Peugeot driver, Magnussen fielded a question about Steiner’s suggestion, and said: “I think it’s pretty difficult to say at this moment. I don’t think it would really be that interesting.

“I’m always going to be there for the team, I spent some good years with them and I’ll be available for advice. Guenther is a good friend, as are many people in the Haas Formula 1 team.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Practice Day Abu Dhabi, Uae

“But any talks about racing for like a one-off race, I don’t really have much interest in that.

“I like to be fully focused on what I’m doing, and I think, again, I miss winning too much. I’ve done seven years in Formula 1 – doing one more race, just for the matter, I don’t think it’s that interesting.”

Asked whether he thus considered F1 a closed chapter, 28-year-old Magnussen said: “Pretty much.”

He added later: “I mean, if Mercedes came and asked if I wanted to drive, I think everyone would look at that very seriously. But I think I’ve given Formula 1 a very fair shot.

“I think I’ve tried my best to be very successful in this sport, I feel very very lucky to have been able to live my childhood dream of racing in Formula 1, I have a trophy at home from a Formula 1 race, which is something I was dreaming about as a kid.

“I just feel like I gave it a good shot, I’ve done it and I feel like I’m ready to go and win some stuff again, so that’s really where I’m at.”

Chip Ganassi IMSA Daytona

Magnussen will be dovertailing his preparation for Peugeot’s 2022 WEC return with an IMSA campaign with Ganassi, having already made his series debut in the 2021 Daytona 24 Hours – in which a late puncture denied his crew a shot at winning.

“The opportunity with Peugeot was always starting in 2022, at least racing, so I needed something for ’21, and I had a few things that I really wanted to do, Daytona and IMSA being one of them,” Magnussen said.

“The opportunity with Ganassi then came and it was a good opportunity to try and come back and win some races in IMSA.”

Peugeot WEC Drivers

Peugeot has already selected its six Hypercar race drivers, with Magnussen joined by fellow ex-F1 racers Paul di Resta and Jean-Eric Vergne, as well as LMP1 stalwart Loic Duval and younger sportscar standouts Mikkel Jensen and Gustavo Menezes.

The French manufacturer said its line-up was selected from an initial roster of “40-50 candidates”, which was whittled down via “statistical analysis” to a 12-drivers shortlist. Those drivers were then all interviewed before Peugeot settled on its final line-up, which also includes simulator driver James Rossiter.

“On the analysis we did, we had their statistics in ELMS, WEC or IMSA before. We tried to assess their performance based on existing data,” said the programme’s technical director Olivier Jansonnie.

“With the exception of Kevin obviously, we’ve picked drivers who all have very strong experience in sportscar racing. Kevin had experience in F1, which is obviously a very good reference as well.”

Jean-Marc Finot, head of parent company Stellantis’ motorsport division, added of the line-up: “We have energy management experience, we have hybrid experience, we have ‘way of working with car manufacturers’ experience, all of them we make a good melting pot.

“I am quite sure that we have a very good development of the car to go to… maybe not to the victory at the beginning, but to be very competitive.”

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