Jan Magnussen: Kevin is going to make it because his focus is on the right stuff

Jan Magnussen with his son Kevin

Jan Magnussen with his son Kevin

Jan Magnussen only scored one point in his brief career in Formula 1. Now, over 15 years later his son Kevin is getting a chance at the pinnacle of the sport with McLaren, and father believes that his youngster has the right stuff to make it to the very top.

Speaking to GP247 during the Dunlop 24 Hours of Dubai, where he is driving a RAM Racing Ferrari, Magnussen snr. said of his son’s promotion to Formula 1, “I am just so very … proud of what Kevin has achieved so far, I am sure he has got a great future ahead of him. You don’t get bigger chances than the chance he has with McLaren.”

Jan is naturally impressed by Kevin’s commitment to the cause which could see him become a superstar of the sport.

“I know Kevin is working extremely hard for what is coming, although he has no way of knowing what is coming…but everything he does is so focused. He is as well prepared as he can possibly be in a situation where you cannot test to get ready,” ventured Magnussen.

Kevin Magnussen testing for McLaren at Silverstone last year

Kevin Magnussen testing for McLaren at Silverstone last year

In recent years Formula 1 testing has been drastically reduced, with many young and new drivers struggling to make an impact due to lack of real seat time in a Formula 1 car. The alternative is the virtual world of simulators which many doubt that they prepare young talent adequately.

Testing during Magnussen senior’s era in Formula 1 was part and parcel of a race driver’s duties, with many test miles covered before drivers got anywhere near an F1 race situation.

Magnussen lamented, “Lack of testing is a negative obviously. We all understand why, but it is very difficult to bring drivers into F 1 when all they have is a chance to drive a simulator.”

“This puts a lot of emphasis on spending a lot of money on the simulator instead of actually going out on track. In the end to have  a simulator that’s good enough, so that you have actually learn something, you would have spent quite a bit of money. Maybe even the same kind of money that you would spend if you did proper testing,” ventured Magnussen.

Kevin Magnussen has impressed McLaren enough for them to take a gamble on him

Kevin Magnussen has impressed McLaren enough for them to take a gamble on him

He added, “But that’s what it is, and it’s the same set of rules for everybody. For sure it does not make it any easier.”

In the mid-nineties many expected the Dane to be a big star of Formula 1, at the time Jackie Stewart described Magnussen as the best prospect since Ayrton Senna. But he never released the potential that was expected of him.

However, Magnussen believes his son has what it takes, “Kevin is going to make it because his focus is on the right stuff and he has (an) absolute desire to be successful in Formula 1.”

As for how dad will help son, Magnussen said, “I will be right there standing right next to him when things are going good and also when things are going bad. I am just his father, not his manager or coach or anything. I am there to support him and give him the best advice that I can…and just be one of his biggest supporters.”

Kevin Magnussen will make his debut in the new McLaren MP4-29 when Fornmula 1 pre-season testing begins at Jerez. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

  • realf1fan

    I read somewhere that Maggnussen was taking heart from what Lewis did in 2007 as a rookie.

    Well Maggs its a big ask to try and do what Lewis did in 2007 but you never know JB is getting on and this could be your time .

  • 45

    I remember Ron Dennis in hindsight sayin that he had never met anyone as disorganised as Jan Magnussen.. On showing up at Mclaren for the first day all his clothes were thrown together in a bag, no preparation, etc. lets hope his son fares better.

  • SteveisGreat

    Coming out and saying you are the next Lewis Hamilton is either going to make or break this kid. Welcome to F1: where even the smallest, benign comment can be front page news, lol.

    Now he has to make a big impression or he’ll be switching to Force India in 2015, looool.

  • WestMclarenMercedes

    I dont think he will switch to another team like force india since no team in the grid wanted him in the first place after mclaren tried to get him in a backmarker team not even they wanted him. He obviously knows something about McLaren that they dont want getting out. McLaren will destroy a drivers reputation to save their throats under martin witmarsh control. This rubbish would not be going on if Ron did not step down and Sam michael would be looking for a job outside F1 after destroying Williams. Ron and others in the paddock know sam michael is full of crap. So is martin. I dont like the McLaren of today not even Ron Dennis does. He worked too hard to have 2 idiots destroy it.

  • realf1fan

    @ WestMclarenMercedes

    Well said.