Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were replaced by Formula 1 newcomers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in the 2021 season, partly for financial reasons.
However, after Haas terminated Mazepin ‘s contract in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, due to family ties to the country’s top brass, Magnussen received a call back, a second chance to drive an F1.
After his return to the most recognized competition in the world of motorsport, the Danish driver said that spending a year out of the category had made him accept that his dream of one day becoming F1 world champion was not going to come true.
While his unexpected return means that dream is theoretically alive again, Magnussen acknowledged that he no longer carries that weight on his shoulders.
“I think it’s different, because I’ve already closed that chapter and reached a point where I accepted that it wasn’t going to happen. And now that I’m back, I see it as a day-to-day thing. I try to focus on work, I try to having fun, I do everything I can, without thinking beyond it”.
“I don’t feel like I have this big weight on my shoulders. I would love to be Formula 1 champion. It’s still a dream, but I don’t think I have the same expectations as before. If it happens, I would be super happy, but I don’t think about it that much.” .
“Now I’m here, I have a seat, so anything is possible. But I don’t feel like an extra weight on my shoulders anymore,” added the Dane.
The Danish driver, who spent a year competing in other motorsport classes, said the year away from F1 had changed his perspective on how much he loved racing in the top class despite having a very uncompetitive car in his possession. last seasons.
While it is true that Magnussen has admitted to feeling uncomfortable and frustrated during his first spell in F1, he says he has a better appreciation of his position now.
His new role at Haas has been a breath of fresh air for him and it showed in Bahrain, the first race of the season, where he took a surprising fifth place.
“Yes, that can happen to everyone. Sometimes when you lose something, you realize what you had,” he reflected. And the truth is that when I was out [of F1] last year, I looked back a little bit, I remembered my career in Formula 1, and suddenly I felt very grateful and proud.
“I was grateful before, but not in the same way. I was very frustrated with a lot of things and focused a lot on not winning, rather than being happy just having a seat in Formula 1.
“I couldn’t really appreciate it at the time, but things have changed a bit,” he concluded.