After a year away from racing, former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen is extremely motivated for his return to Formula 1 this season with Renault Sport F1.
Following his championship triumph in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series in 2013, Magnussen was promoted to a race seat with McLaren for the 2014 Formula 1 season, with the Woking team dropping Sergio Perez after just one year for Magnussen, then a 21-year-old rookie.
The Dane started his rookie season by finishing second on his debut at the Australian Grand Prix but this podium turned out to be a one off. He was dropped at the end of 2015 to make way for Fernando Alonso, with the 2015 season seeing Magnussen as McLaren’s reserve driver up until he was dropped altogether by McLaren.
Pastor Maldonado was signed with the team for the 2016 season but was replaced by Magnussen after his PDVSA funding ran out and Magnussen believes if Renault leaves Australia with points behind them, it would be something to be happy about.
“I feel ready for Melbourne,” said Magnussen. “We’ve had some good days of testing, with lots of laps: more than 100 every day and more than 500 in four days. Putting in the mileage was the main thing as I needed to get back up to speed after some time out of a car.
“You can never definitely hope for points, but if we leave Australia with points we can be happy. Renault’s ambitions are big and that’s the most important thing for a driver; to be in a team that aims to win world championships.”
For Magnussen, his aim is to complete the Australian Grand Prix and hopefully come away with some points, both him and his team-mate Jolyon Palmer.
“I enjoy going to Melbourne,” added Magnussen. “In 2014 I had a brilliant start with the podium, but I went again last year and it wasn’t as good as the first time! Hopefully we will complete the race this year and to get some points. That’s my aim. If both myself and Jolyon can come away with points, it would be a massive achievement!”