Magnussen left F1 on the finish of 2020 after not being retained by Haas.
The Dane moved into sportscar racing, solely to make a shock return to grand prix racing with Haas for this yr after Nikita Mazepin’s contract was terminated following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the top of its sponsorship cope with Uralkali.
Magnussen made a great begin to his comeback season by registering a fifth-place end on the opener in Bahrain, and has led Haas’s efforts to this point this yr.
“I might nonetheless must pinch myself,” Magnussen informed Motorsport.com in an interview forward of the summer time break.
“It is such an enormous factor to get to be a Method 1 driver. That is one of many issues I actually began realising final yr after I wasn’t in it.
“If you see from the skin…you realise how many individuals watch it and the way many individuals discuss it in the course of the race weekends at dwelling. So I began to actually respect that and it sort of hit me, how large it’s.
“Then to return again into it, I respect it way more being at each race. I take note of what number of spectators there are and the way large it’s.”
Although the going has been a lot more durable since then, with an eighth place in Austria his next-best displaying, Magnussen mentioned he felt vindicated in his determination to take up Haas F1 chief Gunther Steiner on his provide to return to the staff.
Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-22
Picture by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Photographs
The all-new rules for 2022, which promised a shake-up amongst the groups, performed a job in Magnussen’s determination.
“I feel that if there hadn’t been that entire factor in regards to the new regs and if Haas had been the place they have been final yr, and the principles would have continued like this for one more 5 years, I might have in all probability hesitated,” Magnussen mentioned.
“However I actually noticed it as a chance. There have been no ensures, Gunther did not promise something. However he defined what they’ve executed and the way they spent their focus within the final couple of years.
“Once I was right here even in 2020, it was already clear that that will be the plan. So I used to be enthusiastic about that and I believed, yeah, this may very well be good.”
To simply accept his Haas seat, Magnussen needed to cancel his sportscar contracts with Peugeot, Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing – and, in all probability, the chance to maintain competing on the sharp finish regularly.
The possibilities of selecting up the F1 victory that has eluded him since his debut with McLaren in 2014 stay slim with Haas, however Magnussen mentioned he has no regrets.
“I’ve mentioned many occasions, truly, final yr was sort of among the best years of my life,” Magnussen mentioned.
“I used to be excited to get again to combating for pole place and race wins each weekend. However there’s just one Method 1. Nothing else is like Method 1.”