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.
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.
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)
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