Formula 1

Magnussen Returned to Formula 1 in 2022 Feeling ‘Like a Changed Person’

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Credit: Carl Bingham / LAT Images

Kevin Magnussen felt he returned to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in 2022 as a ‘changed person’, with the Dane re-joining the Haas F1 Team as a late replacement for Nikita Mazepin.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, Russian athletes were banned from competing in international event”, and Haas were forced to terminate the contract of Mazepin as well as title sponsors Uralkali just before the 2022 season began.

Magnussen was set to compete in the FIA World Endurance Championship with Peugeot in 2022 prior to a call from Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner asking him if he would like to make a return to the team that he previously raced for between 2017 and 2020, and the Dane jumped at the opportunity to return to Formula 1.

And having convinced himself that his time in Formula 1 had been over, Magnussen was able to return with a much different mindset, and he was rewarded with a top five finish in the opening race of the season in Bahrain.

“I feel like a changed person coming back, I became a parent and just thought that Formula 1 was over,” Magnussen is quoted as saying by F1i.com.  “So I had quite a different perspective on life after that year, so it was significant for me.

“I don’t know if it would be the same for everyone, but for me, it was okay.”

Magnussen revealed that it was the mental parts that affected him during his first spell in Formula 1, and he admitted his second debut with Haas saw him return in a more relaxed state compared to when he debuted for the McLaren F1 Team in 2014, the Renault F1 Team in 2016 and Haas in 2017.

“It was the mental part, I felt so much weight on my shoulders from all the expectations of myself,” said Magnussen.  “Finally getting to Formula 1, realising a big part of my ambition as a human being and it was such a big responsibility for myself.

“The pressure from the team wasn’t actually so big, they were so supportive, and most of the teams wanted to keep me, but it was political fights that meant I didn’t get a chance to stay on.

“But it is certainly hard mentally once you get under pressure, and in my case, it wasn’t helped by being on the podium in my very first race [with McLaren at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix] which set expectations too high.”

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