Kevin Magnussen given McLaren test chance

2012 F1 season

Kevin Magnussen, British F1, 2011

Magnussen won seven times in British F3 last year

Kevin Magnussen, son of former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, will have the chance to driver for McLaren in the young drivers’ test later this year.

Magnussen has progressed within the team’s Young Driver Programme and will get to drive the team’s simulator and contribute to its development programme for the MP4-27.

Magnussen said: ??I?m really pleased by this new agreement with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. The team has shown great faith in me so far and I feel that this is an important step in my career. F1 is a highly pressured, data-driven environment, and anyone who wants to get there and succeed within it has to master all the technical aspects of the discipline.

“This is a great opportunity and I look forward to working with the team and playing a part in Vodafone McLaren Mercedes? future.”

Magnussen’s father made his F1 debut for McLaren in 1995, substituting for Mika Hakkinen at the Pacific Grand Prix. He later spent one-and-a-half seasons with Stewart.

Kevin Magnussen was the runner-up in the British Formula Three championship last year. This year he will race in Formula Renault 3.5 for Carlin.

2012 F1 season

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43 comments on Kevin Magnussen given McLaren test chance

  1. PJ (@pjtierney) said on 14th February 2012, 15:48

    When I think of Jan I think of this epic battle:

  2. The boy is very quick. Fully expect to see him in a grand prix seat in a few years time.

    • His father was quick before he made it Formula One, hopefully for Kevin’s sake he is quicker if he is to make Formula One.

    • He is definitely a young driver I’m (and F1 teams as well) keeping an eye on, I expect him to impress in the lower series.

  3. supernicebob (@supernicebob) said on 14th February 2012, 16:03

    So, a Senna in a Williams-Renault, will we see a Magnussen in a McLaren-Mercedes at a race this year for further mid-nineties nostalgia? Take care of your appendixes Jenson and Lewis!

    • raymondu999 (@raymondu999) said on 14th February 2012, 16:57

      I seem to remember Jan driving in a McLaren. Didn’t Jan drive for them at a race before? My memory’s not 100% on this.

      • Estesark (@estesark) said on 14th February 2012, 18:27

        Your memory is correct. I don’t say that based on my own memory; the information is in the article!

        Magnussen’s father made his F1 debut for McLaren in 1995, substituting for Mika Hakkinen at the Pacific Grand Prix.

  4. I Love Pope Benedict said on 14th February 2012, 18:22

    I prefer to envision Magnus ver Magnussen driving for McLaren.

    Or, at least, lifting or pulling one.–large-msg-119939633827.jpg

  5. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 14th February 2012, 18:31

    So, this isn’t a race drive. It isn’t a third driver role. It isn’t a one off test drive. It’s the chance of a one off test drive.

    Not meaning to sound negative but this seems to be a bit of a non-story for me.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th February 2012, 18:38

      Not meaning to sound negative

      Well you do. Not least because you’ve already decided (for who knows what reason) that should Magnussen get a test it will be a “one-off”.

      People might well have said the same of the time McLaren invested in Lewis Hamilton, and that worked out pretty well for them.

      • Where is the thumbs up button??

        I’d love to see Kevin getting a full drive since he has the best attitude I’ve seen in a youngster for quite a while!

        His father was the same and Jackie Stewart even called him the greatest raw talent since Senna but unfortunately he was lacking work ethics. Kevin seems to be lacking neither.

        Those of you who followed GP F3 will know that he certainly didn’t achieve runner up by luck. On the very contrary!

      • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 14th February 2012, 21:14


        Your ability to sound cutting really puts me off commenting on this website.

        I know I sound negative. I’m not stupid. That why I put “Not meaning to sound negative”, in the hope that those reading might understand that I’m willing to give the guy a chance. To put a cocky little “well you do” is petty.

        The thing is, I put “a bit of a non-story for me“. It’s my view. My own personal view. So why not get off my back for a change.

        My issue was that this story is based on shoulds, coulds, woulds. He might get a test. As might one of their other young drivers.

        • No, read the story. He will get a test.

          Jackie Stewart even called him the greatest raw talent since Senna but unfortunately he was lacking work ethics

          The fact that Jan had a son at the age of 19 when he was supposed to be racing in Formula Ford sort of proved something was wrong with his work ethic! :D

          • Actually, that’s a really good point! :-) He’s doing pretty good in Le Mans though.

          • SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 16th February 2012, 21:22

            Jan has always been very honest that, it was his work moral, and ability to focus on driving that made his F1-career short lived. Also one can be sure that Kevin will have been taught this by his dad. He is probably as talented as his father, but with the right mind for F1 and European racing.

            A fun fact is that Jan and Kevin never actually raced each other, but rumours go around saying they will probably race each other at the “Classic Race Aarhus” in June. I would be complicated as Jan can only drive GM cars, and Kevin might only be allowed to race Mercedes engined cars.

        • lordhesketh (@lordhesketh) said on 15th February 2012, 23:41

          Zing! +1 to that.

          I rarely leave a comment for the same reason.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 15th February 2012, 8:24

        I kinda agree with cduk, Kevin is a hell of a long way off F1, and even ignoring that there are quite a few more promising prospects…

        For Kevin, it’s fantastic, chance of a lifetime… But as fans… There’s a bit to go yet.

    • Thing is, Macca don’t mess about sending press releases for any kid they have on their books. They also don’t just rent their cars out to people who’ll pay at tests. So from them this is a big statement of their belief in K.Mag. Generally young drivers they trust end up with jobs in some capacity.

  6. you know your getting old when a driver you remember coming through the ranks as a youngster, has a son who now is testing for mclaren

  7. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 14th February 2012, 19:05

    IIRC Jan Magnussen was hailed as the next Senna in the mid-90s, so how good is Kevin supposed to be? As good as Bruno?

  8. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 14th February 2012, 19:34

    Ah Jan Magnussen. A great enigma of F1…fantastically brilliant pre F1 and decidedly average when he got there. Then again, to be average when he didn’t have a proper fitness routine or the work hard attitude that F1 requires shows how much talent he really had. Jan was the only driver at the time who smoked if I recall correctly.

    I wish Kevin all the best. If he puts his mind to it, he could well be as good as his father was pre F1. With the right attitude, he’ll go far.

    • That is exactly right. Jan was a very laid back character. However, he also spent his entire F1 career basically evaluating carbon fiber gear boxes which were brand new at the time but rarely lasted an entire race. Before the Stewarts ever got slightly reliable he was sacked.

  9. John H (@john-h) said on 14th February 2012, 20:36

    I look forward to working with the team and playing a part in Vodafone McLaren Mercedes’ future

    Doesn’t quite roll of the tongue does it?! Man I wish they’d call it McLaren like the rest of us but obviously that’s never going to happen.

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 14th February 2012, 23:45

    Can’t say I’m familiar with the guy or his father but it’s good to see McLaren actually sticking a young driver in a Young Driver test.

  11. nackavich (@nackavich) said on 15th February 2012, 2:00

    When I think of Magnussen I think of F1 World Grand Prix on the Nintendo 64, and how Jan was one of the drivers I always used to crash into and barge off the road because I thought he had a girly name!
    The other one was Olivier Panis!
    I miss being 10 years old…

  12. McLaren also has another Dutchman (Dutch kid, rather) coming up the ranks – Nick de Vries (though he still has to prove himself in car racing). They also have Oliver Turvey. So (I’m just hypothesizing) should Lewis Hamilton decide to turn his back, McLaren have someone to give a call to.

    • Another kid who is Dutch, you mean. Danish and Dutch is about as different as British and French! I never understood the confusion – the countries don’t even border. Maybe because both capitals are known as rather “liberal” :-)

  13. I thought this was decided at the beginning of the season. I remember seeing a lot about it in the danisih media around feb/mar

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