Kevin Magnussen

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Father Jan didn’t quite crack F1, but his son might do just that after a meteoric rise. Next stop, McLaren…

In December 1995 a cheeky kart racer named Lewis Hamilton introduced himself to Ron Dennis at the Autosport Awards, setting in motion a chain of events that led the mercurial youngster to make his F1 debut with McLaren in 2007.

Seven years on the team is again fast-tracking a promising protégé into a race seat. By coincidence, Kevin Magnussen’s path to the top started at about the same time as it did for Hamilton – when he was a toddler.

“When my dad was a test driver for McLaren,” he says, “Ron Dennis gave me a birthday present… and a letter saying I should call if I ever became as good as my dad.”

Many years later he made that call, and remarkably it paid off. Now the Dane has the opportunity to do what father Jan couldn’t, by fulfilling the potential he showed on his way up through the ranks.

Born in October 1992, Kevin was still only five years old when the older Magnussen’s F1 career fizzled out with Stewart GP in the middle of ’98. He had his first karting experience at the age of two and started racing when he was eight. The move to cars came in a low-key way in domestic Formula Ford in 2008.

“It was just for fun,” he says, “because we sort of gave up on my career as there was no money. The drive was for free, because my dad could only afford to pay for my karting, and after that we didn’t have any opportunity to move on from there. My dad is not a great businessman…”

Fortune intervened when a sponsor approached Kevin and backed a season in Formula Renault in 2009. At the end of the year he remembered that promise from Ron Dennis. “I had a lady helping me, a friend of the family who is now my manager. I showed her the letter and she immediately called Ron. That was the time when Ron was stepping down from the race team, so we had a meeting with Martin Whitmarsh and I became a member of the Young Driver programme.

“It was amazing. The previous year I thought I was not going to be a racing driver and had started welding in a factory, working with metals. It was a very big change in my life, coming from being a normal guy working in a factory to suddenly doing what I loved. So I have a lot of appreciation for what I do.”

The McLaren link helped to open doors and, after impressing in German and British F3, he moved into Formula Renault 3.5 in 2012, finishing seventh in his first season. Already experienced in the Woking simulator, he also made his mark with a stunning Formula 1 test debut in Abu Dhabi that November.

With key McLaren insiders fully convinced of his potential, the momentum began to build.

A second F1 test at Silverstone in July provided further evidence of his talent, and then in October he was confirmed as 2013 Renault 3.5 champion, having beaten a strong field in some style. When plans to place him in another F1 team came to nothing, Whitmarsh took the bold decision to dump Sergio Pérez and create a vacancy.

Eyes will be on the 21-year-old in 2014, and perhaps the most fascinating aspect is that his father is arguably the textbook example of a driver who failed to deliver on his early promise. The fiercely determined Kevin is very much his own man.

“Up until now I’ve been happy that he has not been a great part of my career,” he says. “He still has his own career going on [racing for Corvette in US sports car racing]. Of course I’ve always been very interested to know what he did, and he’s told me stories of his life and career in motor sport. I know what happened. He was a great talent, but maybe he wasn’t prepared for the pressure you get in F1.” Adam Cooper

Career in brief
Born: 5/10/1992, Roskilde, Denmark
2008: Danish Formula Ford, champion; Formula Masters
2009: Formula Renault, 2nd in NEC
2010: German F3, 3rd
2011: British F3, 2nd
2012: Formula Renault 3.5, 7th
2013: FR 3.5, champion

Related articles

Related products