Kevin Magnussen lost his McLaren seat after the 2014 season, a single rookie season, despite an impressive debut against his far more experienced team-mate, the 2009 Drivers Champion Jenson Button. The Dane is certain that he was the victim of a power struggle at the top.
At the 2014 season opener in Melbourne, Magnussen secured himself a place on the podium – and rightly earned a lot of applause for it. The youngster made it eleven more times into the points and finished the season with 55 points overall.
His much more experienced team-mate Jenson Button ended his season with 126 points, more than twice as many as Magnussen, finishing eighth in the standings. The paddock and F1 fans generally accepted that Kevin Magnussen had done a good job for a debut in a particularly uncompetitive car. Despite this, the Dane was royally dumped by McLaren at the end of the season, famously by text from former team boss Ron Dennis, on Kevin’s birthday.
Ultimately, the rookie lost his cockpit to Fernando Alonso, whose commitment to move from Ferrari to McLaren was communicated early within the team before the press knew anything.
“Jenson and I already knew at Spa that Alonso was signed and one of us would have to leave. That’s when the team-internal fight became really intense.” recalls Magnussen on the official F1 podcast published today.
“The team was enthusiastic about me and supported me enormously, Eric Boullier and the rest of the team gave me a feeling of security,” he says, revealing that “Jenson had already prepared a farewell helmet for his last race. He really expected to have to leave and I thought I would stay.”
For that reason, Magnussen didn’t negotiate with other teams, but he would soon regret it. Because when the board voted on who should drive alongside Alonso in 2015, there were seven members for Magnussen and only two for Button.
However, both Mansour Ojjeh and the representatives of the Mumtalakat investment fund of the Bahrain royal family wanted the 2009 World Champion, while Ron Dennis aimed to keep on the younger of the two.
“I don’t know why it went this way. I think they just wanted to wipe Ron out,” Magnussen suspects. “And whatever Ron would have wanted to do, they would have fought back,”
“He [Button] is a very nice, funny and charismatic guy, but he is also a merciless fighter and very intelligent. So he’s not just a teammate, especially for a rookie like me. I felt like I was faster, but he had more experience and knew how to use it well. I learned a lot from him.”
And Kevin also revealed: “Jenson was very close to both the Bahraini and Mansour and he also did a great job there and was with the right people. He did what he had to do – I think I learned my lesson in this respect as well.”
Magnussen was retained by McLaren in 2015 as reserve driver, who actually raced in Alonso’s seat for Melbourne following the bizarre crash in Jerez testing. The Dane then joined Renault for 2016, eventually going to HAAS in 2017 to the present day.
Verstappen punished? WhatsApp message is causing a stir
Spielberg, precisely a week ago the entire paddock and Formula 1 fans across the globe are eagerly awaiting the decision of the FIA race stewards in the Max Verstappen case against Charles Leclerc.
The journalists are especially alert, waiting for the chance to be the first to publish who has won the Austrian Grand Prix.
F1 hasn’t managed to deny the power of modern communications and this tale is one of a certain WhatsApp group of the FIA, through which………. READ MORE
Breakthrough for Red Bull; problem of dirty airflow solved
According to Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport (AMuS), Red Bull Racing has made huge strides during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend with some updates started at the French Grand Prix.
Yesterday, the news outlet published a piece highlighting some updates Red Bull Racing has put on their car, enabling Verstappen to take his victory at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. TJ13 reported some time ago that Red Bull had produced a car for the 2019 season with some inherent aerodynamic flaws and the poor performances of the car weren’t just down to the Honda power unit, new for this season.
While Ferrari has been struggling with a lack of downforce throughout the season, it was not so much the problem for Red Bull. The designers at Milton Keynes have had a serious issue controlling the……… READ MORE
Ex-Driver suspects Red Bull | Marko: “This is something that Gasly often does. He is always…”
GP veteran Mika Salo suspects that Pierre Gasly’s performance crisis is more than just a poor performance of the Frenchman. Otherwise, the ex Formula 1 driver is convinced that Red Bull Racing would have reacted already.
Every race increases the pressure on Red Bull Racing’s latest promoted driver, Pierre Gasly. It’s fair to say that Gasly has not yet lived up to expectations in the senior team. Red Bull motorsport consultant Dr Helmut Marko had already publicly criticised the Frenchman – and set him a deadline until the summer break to deliver the required performance.
GP veteran Mika Salo is nevertheless certain that the weak performance is not only due to the………… READ MORE