At the very end of last week I published a post about Esteban Gutierrez who will be returning to the sport having left at the end of 2014. However there is another driver who will be returning to a full time drive since 2014. That is Dane, Kevin Magnussen.
Magnussen made his initial Formula One debut with McLaren in 2014. Despite not having the most competitive car, he managed to secure a podium finish in his debut Grand Prix, a second (after Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification), at the Australian Grand Prix. He would go on to claim a further eleven points finishes throughout the year.
There was a lot of debate who would be without a drive with McLaren at the end of 2014 with Fernando Alonso joining the team in 2015. Ultimately it was Magnussen who had to make way for the Spaniard.
He remained with McLaren however in a test and reserve driver role. Magnussen did substitute for Fernando Alonso early last year at the Australian Grand Prix, but failed to start after his car sustained reliability issues prior to the start of the race. Having eventually been let go by McLaren near the end of 2015 Magnussen was now without a leading Formula One team to back his motorsport efforts.
Thankfully for him Pastor Maldonado had issues with his sponsor, PDVSA, paying Renault on time. This led to the team dropping Maldonado in favour of Magnussen providing the Dane with a second chance to hopefully secure his long term future in the sport.
Magnussen is a Formula Renault 3.5 Series Champion, having claimed the title in 2013. A championship that fellow driver, Carlos Sainz, has won. There is no doubt amongst those in the know in Formula One that Magnussen is talented and deserves a place in the sport. Many thought it would be with McLaren, which didn’t happen. Here’s hoping that it will be with Renault instead.