Kevin Magnussen admits he thought F1 was 'closed chapter' before making shock return

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Kevin Magnussen admits he thought his F1 career was a ‘closed chapter’ before being handed shock chance to return and replace ousted Russian driver Nikita Mazepin

  • Kevin Magnussen has returned to Haas, following a season out of Formula One 
  • The 29-year-old received the call from F1 team after they fired Nikita Mazepin
  • He left Haas in 2020 and admits he thought his days in F1 were behind him 

Kevin Magnussen admits he thought his days in F1 were behind him before Haas boss Guenther Steiner asked him to come back as Nikita Mazepin’s replacement.

The 29-year-old left the team in 2020 after four seasons in which he made 79 starts and a return to top tier motor racing looked unlikely.

However, he received the call from Haas after they fired Russian driver Mazepin in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the start of March.  

Kevin Magnussen has returned to Haas, following a season out of Formula One

And Magnussen was as surprised as anyone that he had been offered a pathway back into Formula One, having come to terms with his departure. 

‘I was in a happy place when Guenther called me, a good place,’ Magnussen said.

‘2021 was really enjoyable for me, I had a daughter, moved back to Denmark, did a season in IMSA which I enjoyed a lot too, had fun, did an IndyCar race, did Le Mans with my Dad, so I wasn’t really thinking about F1 a lot.

He then referenced his lack of sponsorship, saying: ‘I kind of truly accepted that F1 was a closed chapter, but then of course I saw Mazepin was out of Haas, I didn’t think I had a chance to go in there because I still don’t bring a lot other than just my driving skills to a team, so I thought that it was still not going to be a possibility.’ 

Magnussen received the call from Haas after they fired Russian driver Nikita Mazepin (above)

Magnussen received the call from Haas after they fired Russian driver Nikita Mazepin (above)

During his time away Magnussen gave a number of interviews in which he said he had no desire to return if it was to be as a member of a backmarking team. 

It’s hard to imagine that that isn’t what Haas will be this season but the Dane admits it didn’t take him long to change his mind. 

When asked what made him change it, Magnussen said: ‘I don’t know but I did. Very quickly!

‘I think it’s one thing saying all that stuff when you don’t have an opportunity to go to F1, then when you actually sit with an opportunity to go back it’s different. 

‘It’s also a way of coping, there’s no reason to say I want to go back, you get asked a lot and I got tired of those questions so it’s easier to deal with it if you say I’m looking forward and I’ve moved on, but then when you get an opportunity you take it.’ 

Magnussen shakes hands with George Russell during testing in Bahrain on Thursday

Magnussen shakes hands with George Russell during testing in Bahrain on Thursday

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