Kevin Magnussen is a racing driver from Denmark who currently competes with Haas in the Formula 1 World Championship. He made a debut in Formula 1 in 2014 with McLaren. In the meantime, he spent one season with Renault and joined Haas in 2017.
Before stepping into Formula 1, Magnussen was the Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion in 2013. Earlier in a career, he was successful in many junior formula competitions.
The son of Le Mans winner
As a son of the famous four-time Le Mans winner Jan Magnussen, Kevin was involved in the world of racing since his childhood. Just as many drivers, Magnussen begun his career in karting before switching to single-seaters in 2008. The debut was perfect after Magnussen had won the title in Danish Formula Ford, scoring 11 wins, a total of 12 podiums, and 15 fastest laps.
Obviously, Kevin was ready for the higher level and he moved to Formula Renault 2.0 Series as the driver of Motopark Academy. Driving in Formula Renault NEC, Magnussen finished as a runner-up, behind Antonio Felix da Costa, after he had scored one win and a total of 12 podiums while in Eurocup Formula Renault the Dane finished 7th with only one podium finish on his account.
Rookie of the year in German Formula 3
For the season of 2010, Magnussen stayed with the same team but this time competing in the German Formula 3 Championship. Kevin had won three races and had other five podiums before finishing 3rd overall, behind Tom Dillmann and Daniel Abt, but he was named Rookie of the Year. He also appeared as a guest in Formula 3 Euro Series round at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia and won one race.
Great results in the British Formula 3
In 2011, Magnussen moved to British Formula 3, driving for Carlin, and finished the season as a vice-champion behind Felipe Nasr. Kevin scored seven wins and other two podium finishes, but that wasn’t enough for the trophy. An interesting fact was that the Dane was the driver with most pole positions and fastest laps, and the driver leading over most laps in 2011 British Formula 3.
The same year, Magnussen was 3rd behind Felix Rosenqvist and Marco Wittmann in the Formula 3 Masters at Zandvoort, while he underachieved in the Macau Grand Prix, finishing at the 19th position.
Kevin passed the test of McLaren F1 team in 2012
The new season brought a new challenge for the rising star from Denmark. Magnussen stayed with Carlin but was driving in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2012 and did pretty well. He won the race at Spa and finished 2nd at Nurburgring and Hungaroring before finishing 7th in the final standings.
At the end of the season, Magnussen tested a McLaren F1 car at the Abu Dhabi Young Drivers test and set the best time which was enough for the British team to sign him as reserve driver for the 2013 Formula 1 season after Kevin had earned his FIA Super Licence during the sessions in Abu Dhabi.
2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series champion
Waiting for his chance in Formula 1, Kevin had to stay in good racing form, so he continued to compete in Formula Renault 3.5 Series, this time as a member of DAMS team. That year was probably the most successful in his career after the Dane had won the title. He scored five wins: at Aragon, Spa, Paul Ricard, and twice at Catalunya. He also had a total of 13 podiums and took the title with an advantage of 60 points to runner-up Stoffel Vandoorne.
Podium finish in Formula 1 debut
Big momentum for Kevin arrived in 2014 when he was picked to drive for McLaren in the Formula 1 World Championship. The debut was excellent after Magnussen had finished 2nd behind Nico Rosberg in the Australian Grand Prix. The rest of the campaign was pretty good too, after Magnussen had picked points in other 11 races, with 5th place in Russia as a highlight.
Kevin lost his racing seat in 2015 but stayed with McLaren as a reserve driver, and before the end of the year, he was released by the team in a pretty inappropriate way – by an e-mail from the personal assistant of McLaren’s chairman.
Move to Renault in 2016
Many Formula 1 teams were interested in signing Magnussen for 2016, especially Haas F1 and Manor, but the talks were unsuccessful. After the Dane had tests with Mercedes in order to drive in DTM, it looked like he is ready for the new challenge, but then the new Renault F1 team called him to replace Pastor Maldonado and the deal was quickly sealed.
Driving the #20 Renault, Magnussen scored two finished in the top 10, the seventh place in Russia and tenth place in Singapore, to finish 16th in the final standings.
Magnussen joined Haas F1 Team in 2017
For the 2017 Formula 1 season, Magnussen changed a team again, joining the Haas F1 Team, to drive the #20 Haas-Ferrari alongside Romain Grosjean as teammate. Magnussen was among the point-scorers five times to finish 14th in the final standings.
In 2018, the performance of Haas Team has been improved and Magnussen scored points eleven times in twenty-one rounds, finishing ninth in the championship points.
In 2019, the results were bad and Haas finished ninth in the points among ten teams. Magnussen himself was 16th after scoring points in just four races.