2013 Indian GP: Im ready for Formula 1 says Kevin Magnussen
There's a tremendous air of self confidence about Kevin Magnussen. And with good reason too. The 21-year old Danish driver has just won himself the championship title in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, currently a series that appears to have superseded GP2 as a feeder to Formula 1. And, as part of the McLaren young driver programme, Magnussen has already made the world sit up and take notice as far back as in November 2012 when he clocked the fastest timing during the Young Driver Test at Abu Dhabi. Now on the back of his championship success, and given the fact that Sergio Perez appears not to be impressing as much as he ought to be, there appears to be a very real chance that young Magnussen will find himself strapped into a Formula 1 racecar sooner rather than later.
Ready for Formula 1, says Kevin Magnussen
"I'm very hopeful it will come up," says the Danish driver, son of former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, when asked whether or not he hopes for a chance in Formula 1 next year. An even more clear indicator of his confidence, however, is when he states "The strange thing is I just feel ready in my gut. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it. If I wasn't ready, I wouldn't feel ready," he says simply, as if stepping from Formula Renault 3.5 into Formula 1 is the most natural thing on the planet. Although there is now a growing trend of drivers from junior formulae being signed on fairly young. Case in point - F3 driver Daniil Kvyat who has been signed on by Scuderia Toro Rosso to replace departing Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
But Magnussen really does believe that making the switch to Formula 1 is the right move for him. "I'm not old, but I've had a very long career and winning this championship gave me the last bit of confidence that I'm worth it at least. So we'll see what happens," he declares. And winning the championship itself wasn't something that surprised him in any way. "It's a lot of pressure, but I always believed I'd be able to win the championship. I mean the whole year we've been strong and there were never any alerts you could say, never any big problems, so we seemed strong all the time. So the belief was there from the beginning that we could win."
But does Magnussen believe that he'd be better off starting out with a team like McLaren, whose Technical Director Sam Michael he's impressed quite a bit, or does he believe he'll be better off starting with a mid-field outfit like Force India, or perhaps a team further down the grid like Marussia? "If I get the chance with a big team, then it would be because they expect me to deliver. I would only be chosen for a big team if they think I am the best solution. But again, I feel ready. I've won in everything I've driven, so I think why would that stop me from Formula 1," he declares with that quiet confidence once again. But there is also the fact that like any young driver with his sight set on Formula 1, he'd like to win. "For sure, I'd like to win. So I'd definitely like to try and be as high up the grid as possible. If I was in a car that could win, then I'd feel more happy. It's obvious. I would be able to win, so I'd prefer that."
But realistically what is his biggest chance at breaking into F1? "I don't know what my biggest chance is. At the moment I have no idea. All I can do is wait and hope for the best," young Kevin declares.
There have been cases in the past though, when drivers have made a premature entry into Formula 1, and have had to take a hiatus from Formula 1 before making it back into the sport once again. Case in point Romain Grosjean. But that's not something that bothers Magnussen. " I cannot look into the future but I feel ready, so. That's all I can say. I feel ready, I think it's the right time for me to step in and if I do then we'll see how it is. But, I feel ready," he declares.
Point made loud and clear, we reckon Kevin. Now to see if the race seat materialises in 2014 or not. And whether it will be straight to McLaren, or to a sister concern of the Woking squad.
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