Denmark may not have the same prestigious driving history as the likes of Great Britain or Germany, but they do have a great young talent in Kevin Magnussen. Fortunately for him, and his nation, he is forging a path worthy of any potential Formula 1 driver.
Born in Roskilde, Denmark, his upbringing and initial surroundings is not typical of a young racer. Following dominant displays in his homeland, a much needed rise through Europe was on the cards. With a win in German Formula 3 and second in the equivalent British series, he quickly became noticed by leading figures in the industry.
McLaren placed the youngster on their driver programme, the very same path that Lewis Hamilton took to championship glory. As his reward for his hard work, and eventual 7th place in the Formula Renault 3.5 series with Carlin, Magnussen was entrusted with the McLaren MP4-27 at the Young Driver Test in Abu Dhabi last year.
He set the quickest time – a 1:42.651 – on the opening day, faster than seasoned driver Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey, with whom he shared his testing duties. It was “not easy … but I felt comfortable with the car”, he told ESPN. There is certainly no greater attribute required in a driver than to feel at one with your car.
His 2013 season may be more challenging than his last. DAMS, his new FR3.5 team, have not finished as highly as their rivals in recent standings. However I see this as nothing short of an opportunity. A chance for him to prove to a team like McLaren, that he is a driver who can perform consistently well, regardless of the car. One thing is for sure, a higher finish than seventh is required to secure an F1 drive – even with a father as a former F1 driver himself!