Latest News / Interview

The First Time - with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen

01 Aug 2014

Kevin Magnussen has racked up plenty of firsts over the past 12 months - from clinching the Formula Renault 3.5 crown to making his Formula One debut, and scoring a Grand Prix podium at his first attempt. But he can also recall some of the other milestones in his life, like his first crash and his first taste of champagne. Just don't ask him to cook...

Who was your first hero when you were a child?

Kevin Magnussen: Very clearly my dad [former F1 racer Jan Magnussen]. It was fantastic to have your idol in the family! (laughs)

What was the first Grand Prix you can remember watching?

KM: That was Spa in 1997. I was there with my dad when he was racing for Stewart-Ford. To be so close to the action was a lifetime experience that in many ways moulded my career objective.

How old were you when you first decided you wanted to be an F1 driver?

KM: I really cannot remember what age I was, but when I think back I always wanted to be an F1 driver one day, no matter how distant that was looking at times. Probably it was in the family DNA!

When was your first big accident in a race car?

KM: It was in 2011, in the Formula Three race in Macau. I hit the back of another car and took off at 270 km/h, did a back flip in the air, and literally flew into the catch fencing. I had a knee injury, but nothing serious.

What colour was your first helmet?

KM: It was in my dad's colours - black and yellow - because I used his old helmet.

When did you win your first trophy and what did it look like?

KM: I started driving go-karts when I was two years old, just practising around the track, not competitive. But when I was six I participated in the club championship of the track I always drove on - and I won. My first race ever! It was a small thing, the trophy, and unfortunately it went missing.

What was the first road car you drove?

KM: It was a Fiat 500, when I was pretty young.

Where was the first house you lived in?

KM: In 2012 we - the family - moved into a house. Before that we always lived in a flat in Roskilde, Denmark.

How nervous were you on your first day of school?

KM: Not nervous at all. I was cold-blooded - at least that is what I want my memory to be! (laughs)

What was the first meal you ever cooked?

KM: Still to come!

What was the first thing you did this morning?

KM: Woke up and immediately went to take a shower.

What was the first thing you did after getting your first F1 seat?

KM: I cried. No, actually I called my mum - and probably we then both cried…

What was the first record you bought?

KM: Michael Jackson's Thriller.

What was the first sport you participated in as a kid?

KM: Karate. I think I had a red belt.

When was your first romantic kiss?

KM: When I was 11, at school - and I still know the girl.

When was the first time you were asked to sign an autograph for a fan?

KM: I was very young - and it was because of my dad. Somebody came up saying that probably one day I will also be a racing driver. I guess I was 11.

When did you first taste champagne?

KM: When I was very young. I got a little sip at a New Year's party.

Which would you eat first - a piece of fruit or a piece of chocolate?

KM: A piece of chocolate. Even in these frugal race drivers' days!

What was the first word you said as a baby?

KM: Very likely ‘mummy'.