Back in Formula One after he thought that chapter in his life was over, Kevin Magnussen said on Thursday he is living a dream that not even frustrating engine failures and a nightmare string of DNF’s can wake him from.
After 127 Formula One starts Magnussen arrives at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix still chasing a maiden win but the Haas driver sounded more like a world champion than someone who has failed to finish three of his last four races.
The hard-charging Dane had an eye-opening start to his F1 comeback, picking up points in three of his first four races, including a superb fifth place in the season opener in Bahrain.
“Don’t ever feel sorry for us,” Magnussen told Reuters. “When you get an opportunity through the back door you don’t expect it is very easy to enjoy and appreciate it.
“I was expecting Formula One to be a closed chapter in my life. I wasn’t even dreaming it. It is more than a dream come true.”
Magnussen’s comeback is his second in a career that started with McLaren in 2014 before stalling after a year on the sidelines in 2015. Informed by email on his birthday that McLaren were casting him aside, he joined Renault at short notice before the start of the 2016 season and moved to U.S.-owned Haas for 2017.
At the end of the 2020 season, Haas parted company with both Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in favour of young guns Mick Schumacher, son of seven-times world champion Michael, and Russian Nikita Mazepin.
Magnussen said he had given up hope of a Formula One comeback until Haas team boss Guenther Steiner offered him the seat of sacked Mazepin. A second chance and the birth of his first child last year have brought new perspective that not even reliability problems around the team’s Ferrari engines and aerodynamic issues that forced governing body FIA to take action on Thursday can shake.
“I don’t make the engines,” shrugged Magnussen, who has scored all 15 of Haas’s points this season.
“I can’t influence that in any way so there is no sense in worrying about it.”
The 29-year-old Dane has taken a similar approach to “porpoising”, in which the cars bounce dramatically at high speeds, like the motion of a porpoise through water.
FIA was prompted to act after Lewis Hamilton suffered severe back pains during Sunday’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix. “That is why FIA is there to step in and do the right thing when the teams can’t agree which they never can,” said Magnussen.
“It’s been an issue for everyone but at the end of the day we get on with our jobs.”