Former Haas F1 driver Kevin Magnussen has revealed that he turned down an opportunity to join Red Bull’s talent pool and eventually drive for the Milton Keynes-based team.
Speaking this week, the Dane said he had an opportunity to join Red Bull’s junior team in 2019 – Scuderia Toro Rosso as it was then called – to fill Pierre Gasly’s vacant seat as he was being promoted to Red Bull at the end of 2018.
And, with Gasly subsequently struggling at Red Bull and being dropped by them half-way into the 2019 season, Magnussen would have been in a great position to become Max Verstappen’s team-mate had he accepted the offer.
“When we spoke to them, it quickly became clear that they had a candidate [Pierre Gasly] for the Red Bull seat,” Magnussen said.
“But they mentioned that there would be a vacancy for Toro Rosso. It was not a question of them submitting a contract or the like, but it was clearly an option.”
However, as Magnussen explained, he decided to stay put at Haas off the back of a very strong season for the American racing outfit which saw them finish fifth in the Constructors’ Championship.
“We chose not to pursue the opportunity because I was really happy with Haas and believed that we could continue the positive development we had through 2018,” Magnussen added.
Magnussen left Formula One at the end of 2020 after he and team-mate Romain Grosjean were dropped by Haas to make way for Formula Two Champion Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
He is currently competing in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship with Chip Ganassi Racing.