Jul.10 (GMM) As he pushes to return to the grid, Kevin Magnussen hopes McLaren supremo Ron Dennis’ effort pays off.
In May, Dennis travelled to Magussen’s native Denmark, where he made an appeal to local companies to sponsor the 22-year-old’s F1 comeback.
“We told them that it was not only for me that they needed to do it — it was for Denmark too, because if I can win in F1, it would put the country on the map,” Magnussen told the August issue of Motor Sport magazine.
Magnussen was sidelined by McLaren after just a single season at the end of 2014, and his alternate plans for this year were thwarted by Fernando Alonso’s pre-season crash.
He said he came close to signing up for Indycar, but because Alonso was sidelined, “I had to test at Barcelona, and then do the race in Australia, so it was just too late really.
“We only had a couple of weeks to find sponsorship, and we lost time when I was testing and racing the McLaren,” said Magnussen.
He admits it has been difficult to deal with his 2015 layoff.
“I just hated everything, you know,” Magnussen told the veteran F1 journalist Nigel Roebuck. “I didn’t give up, but I was very depressed and didn’t care about racing.
“I’d loved racing the car and thought I was going to go on doing it, and in the beginning I just thought ‘F*ck it’.
“For so long you lived race by race, and then suddenly you’re not racing, and you don’t have anything to look forward to — I don’t have a contract for next year, I don’t have anything,” he revealed.
But now he is hoping that, with Dennis’ help, he could be back in 2015.
It might be at McLaren, given the fact Jenson Button is not guaranteed the second year of his current contract.
But Magnussen’s fellow McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne is also pushing for the seat, as the Belgian is utterly dominating GP2.
Vandoorne said this week: “I am pushing really hard for it. I really hope to be there next year.”
So, too, does Magnussen.
“We don’t know yet if we were successful, but it was definitely worthwhile,” said Magnussen, referring again to his recent visit with Dennis to Copenhagen.
“Apart from anything else, Ron taking the time to travel to Denmark showed me that he still believes in me. McLaren don’t need this – they’ll do fine without me – but I need it, and Ron didn’t do it because he thinks I’m a nice guy; he did it because he thinks I can help him,” he added.
For now, Magnussen must be content with travelling to the races as reserve, and getting the odd day at the wheel — like this week, where he did a ‘filming’ outing at Silverstone, swapping between Button and Fernando Alonso’s helmet in the MP4-30.
And he also works a lot in the simulator.
“I wouldn’t say it’s frustrating,” said Magnussen, “but of course it makes you wish you were driving the real car — you get a little bit of the same feeling, and it’s kind of nice, but not exciting.
“A bit like watching porn — not the real thing.”