Kevin Magnussen admitted that realizing that being a Formula 1 Champion is not the ultimate achievement in the sport removed a lot off pressure off him.
Kevin Magnussen returned to F1 in 2022 after a rather surprising chain of events, after the driver he replaced at Haas, Russian Nikita Mazepin was dropped in the aftermath of the Russian war on Ukraine.
Magnussen was dropped by Haas at the start of the 2021 F1 season, and spent a year on the sidelines, but was back in the groove right away finishing the season opening race in Bahrain fifth.
Magnussen reflected on the pressure he felt throughout his career, and how his perception of the sport helped him alleviate that pressure, and told Motorsport.com: “The biggest pressure is my own expectation.
“Ever since I was a little child, I’ve thought of life as being all about Formula 1 and getting to the top of the sport. I thought being a Formula 1 world champion is the ultimate thing you can achieve in life, which I’ve now realized is not the case,” he explained.
“That took some of that pressure away, and that’s been a really positive thing. Now I actually enjoy Formula 1 a lot more.
The pressure was very heavy
“When I was in that old mindset, it always just felt very scary to be around here because of all that pressure from myself. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to achieve happiness if I didn’t get success in the sport, which of course is a very heavy pressure.
“And then there’s all the pressure from everyone. This sport is a very tough competition in many ways. So I think for me, it’s actually been a positive.
A father of one baby girl, Magnussen said: “I heard a lot of people joke that oh, it costs a tenth or two when you become a dad, but it’s certainly not the case. I think it’s the other way around.”
Magnussen had quite a journey in F1 so far, making his debut with McLaren in 2014, finishing second in his first race, but was then dropped by the team to join Renault in 2016 where he remained for one season after which he switched to Haas for his first stint with the American outfit from 2017 till 2020.
The veteran of 142 grands prix admits things are different in his latest stint in F1; he said: “There’s not this big weight on my shoulders in the same way.
“Of course you still have great expectations to myself, and big ambitions, but it’s just different. It’s all OK, that kind of thing. I’m happy,” the 30-year-old maintained.