‘Becoming F1 world champion’ no longer Kevin Magnussen’s ‘ultimate goal in life’

Kevin Magnussen made his debut in Formula 1 back in 2014 for McLaren, with the Dane having claimed his only F1 podium in his first race.

Kevin Magnussen’s approach to Formula 1 has changed since the Danish driver returned to the sport, with his “ultimate achievement in life” no longer being to become Formula 1 World Champion.

At the end of 2020, it was looking for all the world that Magnussen’s F1 career was over, after he was dropped by Haas.

However, the Dane was brought back into the sport ahead of the 2022 season, after the Americans dropped Nikita Mazepin following the start of the conflict in Eastern Europe.

Magnussen returned to the pinnacle of motorsport in fine fashion, by claiming fifth at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix last year.

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He went on to claim his and the team’s first pole position last season in Brazil, cementing what was a very successful season for the 30-year-old.

It seems that his time away from the sport, having his first child and getting married has made Magnussen reassess his approach to racing, with the Haas driver admitting that his moment of realisation has taken “some pressure off”.

“The biggest pressure is my own expectations,” Magnussen told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com.

“When I was a kid, I thought life was all about F1 and getting to the top of the sport. I thought becoming World Champion in F1 was the ultimate achievement in life. Now I realise this is not the case. That takes some pressure off and that’s a good thing.”

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Since approaching his job differently, Magnussen has found that he enjoys racing in the sport more now than he did prior to his departure.

His change of mindset is seemingly the reason for this, with the Dane having admitted that his “old mindset” made everything feel “very scary”.

“I enjoy Formula 1 more now,” he admitted.

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“When I was in my old mindset, everything felt very scary because of the pressure I put on myself. I was afraid that I wouldn’t experience happiness if I didn’t succeed in sports. That of course gives a lot of pressure.

“Then there is pressure from all the other people. This sport is a very tough competition in many areas. I think it’s more positive now. People often joke that you lose two-tenths of speed when you become a father, but that’s definitely not the case. I think it’s the other way around.

“There is weight on my shoulders now. Of course, I still have big expectations of myself and big ambitions, but it’s just different now. It’s all OK. I’m happy.”