Start, Indianapolis 500, IndyCar, 2018

“Amazing” Indy 500 has big appeal for Magnussen


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F1 driver Kevin Magnussen says he is eager to sample IndyCar oval racing and is keen to follow Fernando Alonso’s lead by tackling the Indianapolis 500.

“Oval racing is part of racing I’ve never tried which I’d love to try,” said Magnussen. “I feel really curious about how it feels to race at an oval, it’s something I really want to try one day.”

“Of course the Indy 500 is a massive race, on a par with Monaco and F1 and Le Mans. It’s one of the three biggest races. That would be amazing to have done. Whether I will get a chance or not I don’t know but I hope I will get a chance.”

This year’s Indianapolis 500 will take place shortly after the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday. Ed Carpenter will start from pole position. Carpenter is only racing in the six of this year’s 17 IndyCar races which take place on ovals.

Magnussen also said he is keen to try more classic racing cars from the sixties. “There’s many that I would love to drive,” he said.

The “pure” cars of that era allowed the driver to make a bigger difference at the wheel, said Magnussen.

“Things were so new and people were discovering things,” he said. “It wasn’t as complicated as it is now.

“Those cars in the sixties for example were pretty simple. I think as a driver if you were really skilled you could make a big difference. Nowadays if your floor is damaged you have no chance. You cannot fight, you’re not in the race any more. If a tiny little part falls off your car you’re done, that’s it. You can be as skilled anyone, you don’t have a chance. That’s frustrating.”

However Magnussen doesn’t think there are many lessons for modern F1 in the cars of the past.

“We cannot go back, we’re not going to un-learn all the things we’ve learned. The technology has moved on so far we cannot turn back.

“The technology and the knowledge is there so the cars are never going to be as they were in the sixties. It wouldn’t be right to force it back to what it was because I don’t think it’s possible. But they were beautiful.”

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 17 comments on ““Amazing” Indy 500 has big appeal for Magnussen”

    1. There was a time when I would have left a sarcastic comment that KMag’s driving style is better suited to some other “assertive” series in the US.

      But then, I saw Grosjean racing in Spain last weekend.

      1. @phylyp
        I had a bit of a laugh to that one. He is no shrinking violet is the K-Mag.

        I am not surprised by these comments from him about driving some of the older cars, Kevin is quite the F1 historian where some of the current drivers aren’t as much. I am sure others read the article when he had dinner with Sir Stirling Moss that was organised from and old school F1 journalist (was that you @dieterrencken ??) and said he had a ball. I like when these guys show an interest in the legends of the past!

        But why not have a shot at Indy, its maybe a little more aggressive than F1 :)

        1. Not really. Excessive aggression on the ovals is a really, really bad thing– you can have 6-8 cars taken out in a single accident.

          The road course races, however, are very entertaining, and there’s a bit more wheel-to-wheel.

          The biggest difference to me is there isn’t quite so much whinging as there is in F1– sure, this week Chevrolet seems to have the upper hand in outright HP, and Penske put all four of their drivers in the top 10 (because that’s what Penske does), and the drivers wouldn’t mind a bit more downforce on the cars– but overall, the mood is so much more positive than it is in F1.

          The fact that they have a full grid, are bringing in more sponsors, and rumor has it Cosworth wants to be an engine supplier, may have something to do with that.

          1. pastaman (@)
            22nd May 2018, 18:11

            Agreed, the aggression in Indycar is reserved for street and road tracks. Oval racing is all about finesse and momentum.

    2. Sent MAX to Indy pls… with the ability to change cars when we will crash them.. that will be a hell of a show.

    3. I foresee a good future for Kevin in Indy500. He’s a tough person. I think his driving skill has evolved over the years. Agreed they aren’t acceptable and sometimes dangerous but he can only get better.
      For that matter, every F1 driver should give Indy 500 a try.

      1. If F1 could schedule Monaco for some other weekend, making drivers available for the Qualifying weekend and Race weekend at Indy, and scheduling the Montreal race to the weekend prior Qualifying… we would probably have multiple F1 drivers giving it a try at Indy.

        IndyCar gets an interest boost, and F1 gets free advertisement in the US as F1 drivers will receive a lot of attention. Crossovers are always a win-win.

        1. I’ve been saying the same thing forever Dusty! It is very positive for both IndyCar and F1 to do so.

          Also like McLaren, it is a mystery to me why Merc or Ferrari haven’t joined IndyCar as a manufacturer? A fraction of the cost of F1, and a chance to win the world’s biggest race & biggest single day sporting event. Not to mention good promotion in their largest market.

        2. @dusty
          An idea certainly worth considering, especially for the (financial) exposure F1 would get in the USA.

    4. I hope he does it, it would be one more reason to watch Indy 500. I don’t expect him to be an instant star like Alonso, but who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise us and pad his reputation.

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        22nd May 2018, 18:20

        I wish he’d hop in that Chevy with his dad for Le Mans

        1. And Sebring, Daytona too? :D

    5. Wow.
      He wants to race in a place where you have to have the upmost respect for others, and others have to have complete trust in you to be firm but fair, or else you’re both in a lot of trouble.

      Not sure how happy the Indy regulars would be to see KMag roll up?

      1. pastaman (@)
        22nd May 2018, 18:15

        He can’t be any worse than Sage Karam

    6. An open letter ” to Kevin , if you get a chance to drive at INDY do it . I must point out that in part what you have said is wrong because INDY is not ” on par” with Monaco , Monaco is a qualifying race , that is to say that where you qualify means so much, too much because overtaking is virtually impossible at Monaco while the Indy 500 is perhaps the greatest test of drivers skill and will power open- wheel racing has and you will be at least attempting to pass and defend for hours ,probably more in that one race than in a season of F1 .
      You were right , however ,about the driver at Indy ( and all Indycar races )having more influence on the outcome than in F1 events. We all know in F1 the car means almost everything . A Sauber will never beat a Mercedes I don’t care who is behind the wheel while in an Indycar event the cars are well matched and very close in pace and handling so car set up and DRIVER skill do make a substantial difference in outcome .
      So Kevin, if you want to match yourself against other drivers and are willing to do that for 500 of the toughest miles in sport – get the ride .I for one want to see you there and so will many others and we do expect that you will do well and will wish to do it again .

    7. Happy to hear he’s interested. I think running the 500 has done a lot for Alonso. I believe his approach is more patient now.

    8. Think Kmag is growing.. think as and talks with legends – and now this wish of indi…

      I will bet he ends up in F1 top 3 one day..

    Comments are closed.