Magnussen left F1 on the finish of 2020 after not being retained by Haas, and 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 take care of 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 should pinch myself,” Magnussen advised Autosport in an interview forward of the summer time break.
“It is such a giant factor to get to be a Components 1 driver. That is one of many issues I actually began realising final yr once I wasn’t in it.
“Whenever you see from the surface…you realise how many individuals watch it and the way many individuals speak about it throughout the race weekends at house. So I began to actually respect that and it type of hit me, how huge it’s.
“Then to return again into it, I respect it rather more being at each race. I take note of what number of spectators there are and the way huge it’s.”
Although the going has been a lot harder since then, with an eighth place in Austria his next-best displaying, Magnussen stated he felt vindicated in his resolution 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 resolution.
“I feel that if there hadn’t been that entire factor concerning the new regs and if Haas had been the place they have been final yr, and the foundations would have continued like this for one more 5 years, I might have in all probability hesitated,” Magnussen stated.
“However I actually noticed it as a possibility. There have been no ensures, Gunther did not promise something. However he defined what they’ve accomplished and the way they spent their focus within the final couple of years.
“After I was right here even in 2020, it was already clear that that may be the plan. So I used to be enthusiastic about that and I believed, yeah, this might be good.”
To just accept his Haas seat, Magnussen needed to cancel his sportscar contracts with Peugeot, Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing – and, in all chance, the chance to maintain competing on the sharp finish regularly.
The probabilities of selecting up the F1 victory that has eluded him since his debut with McLaren in 2014 stay slim with Haas, however Magnussen stated he has no regrets.
“I’ve stated many occasions, truly, final yr was type of among the best years of my life,” Magnussen stated.
“I used to be excited to get again to combating for pole place and race wins each weekend. However there’s just one Components 1. Nothing else is like Components 1.”