Magnussen’s experience makes him ‘positive’ ousted Schumacher can return to F1

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Kevin Magnussen offered words of sympathy for Mick Schumacher as he leaves Haas, and says his own Formula 1 career shows how his former team mate might make it back onto the grid one day.

Schumacher was signed by Haas after winning the 2020 Formula 2 title. He has been shown the door in favour of Nico Hulkenberg after two seasons at the team, the highlight of which was a pair of points finishes this year.

“It’s a double-sided thing, right?” said Magnussen. “Because on one hand it’s exciting getting someone like Nico in with all his experience and capabilities. And on the other hand, I feel bad for Mick because I know how that feels, I’ve been in that situation myself, and I think he’s done a good job this year.

“I like him as a person as well, and it’s easy to feel bad for him. F1 is tough, but it’s also possible to make it back, I’ve done that twice. I hope he can keep fighting and try to make it back on the grid.”

Magnussen joined F1 with McLaren in 2014, becoming their first junior driver since Lewis Hamilton to be promoted to a race seat. He impressed by scoring second place on his debut, but only finished in the top five once more following that and was demoted to a reserve driver role for 2015.

He signed to race for Renault in 2016 but moved on to Haas after a single season and two points finishes. The next four years were spent at the same team, but Magnussen lost his seat in 2021 as the team brought in an all-rookie line-up featuring Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin. When the latter was dropped in March, Magnussen made a second F1 return as his replacement.

Magnussen says his experience shows Schumacher should not be discouraged by losing his F1 drive at the age of 23. “When I’m patting him on the shoulder saying ‘keep at it’, then it also has some weight,” he said, adding it shows “nobody knows what [can happen], you can never say never in this sport and there’s really a reason to hang in there.”

He had “nothing bad to say about Mick or his performance” in 2022, and recommended that he “keep training, keep positive, stay close to whatever team he’s going to be involved with” in 2023 to improve his chances of an F1 return. Mercedes’ team principal Toto Wolff has indicated that talks have begun with Schumacher about joining his team.

“[Schumacher] has got a team behind him who are going to work hard for him,” Magnussen added. “I’m quite positive that we will see him back on the grid. I hope all the best for him.”

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2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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8 comments on “Magnussen’s experience makes him ‘positive’ ousted Schumacher can return to F1”

  1. Seeing the likes of Hulkenberg returning to the grid I’m sure makes Mick feel confident he can return to the grid… oh wait

  2. 23 will be Mag’s last year in f1 for good. I’m amazed he has had so many years in f1.

  3. What is going on in Formula 2 that makes F1 teams so incredibly hesitant to promote young talent into their race team? F2 races on F1 tracks, uses the whole FIA governance infrastructure, often shares officials at an event, etc. This is after all one of the main arguments for giving so many superlicense points to F2 compared to say Indycar.

    But the F1 teams would rather hire guys who’ve been out of F1 for years, and who haven’t been regarded as the next big thing for (in some cases) over a decade.

    It seems that not only is F2 way too expensive for most people, it’s also failing to prepare its drivers for F1.

    1. I don’t think every team should just want a young driver for the sake of having a young driver. Ocon at Alpine is a good example of a young driver with results that could easily be replaced by a more experienced driver and would probably not be missed at all.

      As for F2, I don’t think there’s really that much of an issue, starting next season every F2 champion outside of the latest one has made it into a full-time race seat, and several of the drivers from 2nd to 6th in the standings of those years have been in F1 as such, or as reserve drivers. Ultimately, there’s only 20 F1 seats total and realistically only 1 to 3 available seats for everyone to contest over, while there’s 24 F2 drivers along with drivers from other categories trying to get those seats.

    2. It’s not that it fails to prepare drivers for Formula 1 – they have been much better off than drivers from other series. The true issue is that the big teams with active academies gobble up nearly every single driver, or at least those drivers worthwhile and bind them to contracts. Why would Haas or any other team take a flier on someone who is contracted to leave if that person should show promise. This is the same reason why Piastri, despite his talent, have been sitting out a year. The last two drivers to go through without being contracted only did so due to having a favourable nationality in terms of securing sponsors (Zhou and Sargeant) and had next to nothing to do with talent – none of them being the best out of their respective classes as one can mention Shwartzman, Ilott and Drugovich performing better just to mention a few.

      It’s the contractual obligations more than anything, but there are more aspects to consider, the talentpool and then the old guard staying for much longer in F1 and with less of a dropoff in performance. With the old guard present there is less need for taking the risc of bringing in new drivers and less chairs available.

    3. I think it’s largely due to F1 not havig enough teams at the moment. It needs at least 4 more cars.

  4. It sucks for Mick, but Haas really do need two drivers who can provide the feedback to develop on a shoestring budget.

    1. And also it was Grosjean (not Magnussen) who told the team in 2019 to go back to the Melbourne spec car when the upgrade package was introduced but didn’t work. Suspect Hulk may be stronger technically than Magnussen which can only improve matters given Haas will for the first time ever be supposedly be running not running on a shoestring as you suggest but supposedly at the budget cap next season. You never know we might even see some genuine upgrades throughout the season!

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