Jan Magnussen was famously described by Jackie Stewart – who hired him to race for his fledgling GP team – as the most talented driver since Senna. But in his brief and fruitless time in F1, he struggled to replicate the brilliant form he showed in F3 and now sits and watches as others aim for the top. So what went wrong? What stops some drivers from clearing that final hurdle?
“It often comes down to things like how much time you get in the car;” muses Derek Warwick,”but I believe if he had been a Schumacher or a Senna, then he would have just blown (team-mate) Rubens Barrichello away. Rubens is a good driver but not a great driver.
“Remember also that when you make F1 there is a danger to think you have arrived. When JJ Lehto turned up on the scene, he was stunningly quick. But where is he now? Some people don’t have the luck, others just don’t feel the need to apply themselves in the same way as when they were getting there. But the great drivers just come through, they handle the tough team-mates and the crashes. It just bounces off them.”