The return of Kevin Magnussen

By: Mikey McGuire

It’s been 2 years since we last saw Kevin Magnussen in a Formula One car, and with the unceremonious ousting of Nikita Mazipen at Haas, he is back in the fold. 

Magnussen has a long history in F1, spanning all the way back to 2014 with his debut season with Mclaren. He got off to a rapid start with the team, topping the timesheets in testing that year and qualifying fourth for the first race of the season. He would go on to secure his first (and eventually only) podium in that race, putting all eyes on the Danish driver for the 2014 campaign. While he never reached the same highs that season, he did bag 11 points finishes that year for the Woking outfit.

The next season, he was replaced by Fernando Alonso but was able to start the first race of the season due to Alonso being unable to race for medical reasons. Unfortunately, Magnussen was not able to start that race due to an engine failure on the formation lap. He would spend the rest of the season in a reserve/testing driver role for the team. He was let go at the end of the season.

Magnussen would find a home with Renault for the 2016 season, where he would drive alongside Jolyon Palmer. His season with the French team would be marred with mechanical issues and an overall uncompetitive car. Magnussen secured 7th place in Sochi that year, which would be the highest the team would finish all season.

Come the 2017 season, Magnussen would join Romain Grosjean at Haas. In only their second year in the series, the team would find a driver pairing that would last them the next four seasons. 

Throughout the next four years, Magnussen and the team would be consistent lower mid-field finishers, except in 2018. In 2018 the team was able to finish the season best of the rest with a 5th place finish in the constructors’ championship.  Magnussen also finished the season in a career-high 9th place in the drivers’ championship. But the party would not last long as Haas would fall back down the grid the following year.

Just like in his debut season, Magnussen would secure his best finish of the season at the first race. The Haas finished 6th place at the Australian grand Prix that year and failed to replicate or better that result for the rest of the season. Magnussen continued to qualify very well in the VF-19, but when it came time to race, he would fall down the grid. The Danish driver would finish the season in 16th place, ahead of his teammate.

The 2020 season would be the toughest one yet for Magnussen and the team. Consistently struck with mechanical issues and an overall uncompetitive car, the team struggled to find their way into points places. Haas would drop both Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean at the end of the year.

During his time away from Formula One, Magnussen competed in IMSA with Chip Ganassi Racing and also ran Le Mans alongside his father Jan Magnussen. He had signed on to compete with Peugeot in WEC as well as continue with Chip Ganassi in IMSA, but he was relieved of those contracts when he joined Haas for the 2022 season.

Kevin Magnussen has been a mainstay on the F1 grid for a while, and its wonderful to see him back on the grid. It’s also exciting to see him at the top of the timesheets like he was at the Bahrain test a few weeks back. 2022 is shaping up to be an incredibly exciting season for Magnussen and the whole HaasF1 team

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