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5. Kevin Magnussen

magnussen, kevin

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AUTODROME, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - MAY 05: Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team during the Miami GP at Miami International Autodrome on Friday May 05, 2023 in Miami, United States of America. (Photo by Andy Hone / LAT Images)

Age 30
Occupation Driver, Haas Formula 1 Team
Nationality Danish
Position Last Year New

Kevin Magnussen continues with the MoneyGram Haas F1 Team for a seventh season, following a storybook return to the sport in 2022, after a season of racing sports cars in 2021.

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Born into a racing family in 1992, Kevin Magnussen was welcomed into another racing family in 2017, as the native of Roskilde, Denmark, and the son of former Formula One driver and sportscar racer Jan Magnussen became a member of Haas F1 Team. This relationship has now extended into a fifth season together.

Magnussen joined the American outfit for his third season competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship in 2017, having previously driven for established marques McLaren and Renault Sport. He promptly delivered, scoring five top-10 finishes with a best of seventh in the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Cementing his place in the team with a stellar 2018 campaign, he finished a career-best ninth in the championship with 56 points from 11 top-10 finishes. Two fifth-place finishes at the Bahrain Grand Prix and Austrian Grand Prix were Magnussen’s personal highlights of the season. With Grosjean, his points haul propelled Haas F1 Team to fifth overall in the constructors’ standings in only its third season in Formula 1, the duo scoring a team-best five double-points finishes in 2018.

2019 proved challenging, with Magnussen scoring a best finish of sixth place at the Australian Grand Prix. Three additional point-scoring finishes followed, with Magnussen placing 16th in the championship with 20 points. After a disappointing 2020 season, Magnussen and teammate Romain Grosjean parted ways with the team after placing ninth for a second consecutive season in the constructors’ championship.

Magnussen continued to prove his racing pedigree throughout 2021. A race winner in the IMSA SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing, the Dane added four more podium finishes to his maiden campaign in the United States. In the 2021 season, he has also included a race debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, competing for High-Class Racing in the LMP2 category alongside his father, Jan Magnussen, and a one-off IndyCar start for Arrow McLaren SP at Road America.

Making his Formula One debut with McLaren in 2014, Magnussen earned an impressive second-place finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. He became the first Formula One rookie to deliver a podium finish in his debut race since Lewis Hamilton achieved the feat, also with McLaren, at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix. Eleven more point-paying finishes followed, allowing Magnussen to finish a respectable 11th in the championship standings.

Despite the solid first-year showing and being a member of the McLaren Young Driver Program since 2010, Magnussen had to settle for a reserve driver role at McLaren in 2015 when the team signed two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso to pair with 2009 champion Jenson Button. Nonetheless, Magnussen made the most of the opportunity, helping to develop the team’s MP4-30 racecar and keeping his name top-of-mind for a full-time drive in 2016.

That drive materialized with Renault Sport, but the 2016 season proved challenging, with the team finishing ninth in the constructor standings, 21 points behind Haas F1 Team. However, Magnussen scored seven of the team’s eight points, highlighted by a seventh-place finish at the Russian Grand Prix.

The scrappy performance showcased Magnussen’s tenacity behind the wheel, something the Dane has displayed throughout his career.
Like many Formula One drivers, Magnussen’s motorsports journey began in karting before transitioning to larger, more powerful open-wheel machines. Plaudits were quickly earned, with Magnussen moving outside of Denmark to race across Europe in the traditional proving grounds of Formula One.

Magnussen’s first season in open-wheel racing was stout. He scored 11 wins for Fukamuni Racing en route to the 2008 Danish Formula Ford championship.

That success led to a dual campaign in 2009, where Magnussen competed in the Formula Renault 2.0 NEC Series and the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup Series, both with Motopark Academy. Magnussen’s accomplishments included earning rookie-of-the-year status in the NEC Series while scoring a win and 12 podiums before finishing second in the championship.

Remaining with Motopark Academy, Magnussen graduated to the German Formula 3 Series in 2010, where he again captured rookie-of-the-year honours while scoring three victories, eight podiums and a third-place finish in the championship. His progress and success led to an invitation to join the respected McLaren Young Driver Program.

A second season in Formula 3, he followed this time in the prestigious British series with stalwart outfit Carlin. Magnussen delivered again, amassing seven wins from eight podiums and finishing second in the 2011 championship. Carlin subsequently retained Magnussen for its 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 Series campaign. In his first European-based championship season, Magnussen delivered a win and three podiums to earn his first Formula One test drive with McLaren.

The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series saw Magnussen switch to the leading DAMS team. His previous season’s experience translated into a dominant title-winning campaign. Magnussen won the championship with five wins and 13 podium finishes. His banner year included a second opportunity to test with McLaren, ultimately leading to the team offering him his first Formula One seat in 2014.

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