Fast Talk: Kevin Magnussen

We caught up with the McLaren junior and current F3.5 championship leader at the Red Bull Ring.
Another good day's work for Kevin Magnussen
Another good day's work for Kevin Magnussen © Frederic Le Floch/DPPI
By Tom Bellingham

It’s been a busy week for Danish driver Kevin Magnussen, earlier this week he was driving a Formula One car for McLaren at the Young Driver Test and this weekend he’s driving at the Red Bull Ring in the Renault World Series. After a third place finish in race one, he now leads the Formula Renault 3.5 title ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne and Red Bull junior Antonio Felix Da Costa. We caught up with the young Dane after the race.

Red Bull: Another podium and now you’re back into the lead of the championship, how does it feel?

Kevin Magnussen: I don’t really look into it that much, it’s still very close. You can give yourself unnecessary pressure if you look too much into the points and at the other drivers. You just have to do what is your best every time. Today was OK but we didn’t have the pace to win. If I’d got a better start maybe I could have challenged higher up. We need to improve our starts and we need to improve race pace.

The Formula Renault 3.5 title contender in action
The Formula Renault 3.5 title contender in action © Frederic Le Floch/DPPI

RB: Coming into the series as a rookie, have you surprised yourself with your pace?

KM: I lost some confidence after a few tough years. I had the pace to win but didn’t get it together and if you have a few of these seasons you begin to question things. I changed my mental approach to racing and I ended up with a great team. DAMS have been really good at coaching me and giving me the right advice.

RB: You got called up by McLaren to drive in the Young Driver Test, that must have been special?

KM: It was great. These days we don’t get a lot of time to drive current Formula One cars, so to get to do 100 laps was good. I learned a lot and I hope I was able to help the team. I think I did a good job and the best I could but it’s just testing.

RB: Do you feel ready to take the step up to Formula One soon?

KM: Sure, if I can keep this consistency up and improve my race pace I’d be really happy. For sure I’ve done a lot of racing and feel ready for Formula One. I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable, scared or nervous… well not too nervous. Like I said before we don’t get a lot of time in Formula One cars, that will be an issue, but it’s the same for everyone else.

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