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Kevin Magnussen

Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 2013 Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 2013 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day One, Wednesday, 17 July 2013 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day One, Wednesday, 17 July 2013 Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day One, Wednesday, 17 July 2013

In 1995, a promising young Dane made his Formula One debut with McLaren. That man was Jan Magnussen and in a delightful twist of fate, some 19 years later, the Woking team have handed an F1 chance to his son, Kevin.

Ultimately, Magnussen Senior’s F1 career petered out disappointingly after just 24 starts, but there are plenty of reasons to suggest Magnussen Junior will fare better in the top echelon of motorsport than his father.

Born in the town of Roskilde in October 1992, Kevin began his racing career with success in karts before jumping into single-seaters in 2008. In his first season he won the Danish Formula Ford championship in dominant fashion, recording 11 wins, 12 podiums, six pole positions and 10 fastest laps.

The following year he stepped up to Formula Renault 2.0, finishing second as ‘rookie of the year’ in the Northern European Cup and seventh in the ultra-competitive Eurocup.

Keen to keep the momentum going, Magnussen graduated to German Formula Three in 2010, scoring an impressive victory on his series debut. A further two wins helped cement third in the standings and another rookie of the year crown, as well as an invitation to join McLaren’s prestigious young driver programme.

Magnussen remained in F3 in 2011, albeit moving to the British series where he finished a strong second in the title race after securing seven wins, six pole positions and eight fastest laps. The following season he stayed with the crack Carlin Motorsport team for an assault on the Formula Renault 3.5 series. Despite his rookie status, Magnussen won one race and scored three other podiums, establishing himself as a title favourite for 2013.

Having enjoyed an impressive run-out for McLaren at the Abu Dhabi young driver test at the end of 2012, the Dane burst out of the blocks in 2013, using his unerring blend of speed and composure to claim the Formula Renault 3.5 crown with five wins, 13 podiums and eight pole positions. McLaren were impressed, and having also been wowed his performance at Silverstone’s young driver test, they had no hesitation in handing Magnussen a 2014 race seat alongside Jenson Button.

“Kevin is clearly very talented and very determined, and we therefore have high hopes for him,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh of the squad’s first rookie driver since Lewis Hamilton in 2007. “Every time he's tested our Formula One car, he's been very quick and very methodical, and his feedback has been first-class.”

Jan Magnussen scored only one point in his brief F1 career. McLaren have high hopes that Kevin Magnussen will do considerably better.