Kevin Magnussen hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to race at Le Mans with his father, Jan, albeit not for a few years, as he wishes to focus on his Formula 1 comeback.
With no Formula One seat available at the end of 2020, Magnussen followed his Haas teammate Romain Grosjean to America, securing a drive in the IMSA with the illustrious Chip Ganassi Racing team alongside Renger Van Der Zande, finishing seventh in the championship and winning on the streets of Detroit.
In August, Magnussen headed to France to race in the 24 hours of Le Mans with his father, Jan and Anders Fjordbach, finishing 29th overall and 17th in class with the Dane also being part of Peugeot’s Hypercar lineup before the call came from Haas to replace Nikita Mazepin.
During a media session that took place on the eve of the Miami Grand Prix, of which MotorLAT was in attendance, Magnussen didn't rule out all the possibility of returning to Le Mans in the near future.
“I would love to, (but) I don’t think about those things so much; all my future is up in the air right now. I got to do Le Mans last year with my dad; we had a s****ty race, but it was good fun anyway to do it with him and have that experience of driving the same car, looking at data together, talking all these nerdy details of racing and to get this chance was amazing.”
“In the future, he’s not that old, so who knows if we can do it (again). We were going to do it together; (this year) obviously, I couldn’t do it this year, so it didn’t work out for him, so let’s see. All the lap time he lost to me was only in two high-speed corners; he was faster in most of the low-speed corners and medium-speed corners; he just didn’t have a lot of time to prepare in the car.”
Whilst in America, Magnussen had a chance to drive in IndyCar when Arrow McLaren SP parachuted the Dane into the number seven car for the REV Group Grand Prix held at Road America after full-time driver Felix Rosenqvist suffered injuries in a heavy crash at the Detroit Grand Prix the week before. Magnussen’s debut meant he became the second generation to race at the highest level of American single-seater racing as his father had briefly raced in the CART series in 1996, substituting for the injured Emerson Fittipaldi at Hogan-Penske Racing before returning three years later to replace the underperforming PJ Jones at Patrick Racing.
Despite limited testing time, which caused him to struggle in Qualifying, Magnussen briefly led the race until a mechanical failure took him out of the running for a top ten finish on Lap 33 as he commented on how difficult it was to drive a car without power steering something which he had gotten used to in Formula 1.
“I went down there, and I really struggled; I was surprised at how difficult that car is to drive, it\s so different. You can’t really compare (an F1 car and an IndyCar); it’s not easy, and it’s certainly unbelievably competitive.”
“The big thing for me was driving with no power steering; it felt so alien to me, I’ve become used to the feeling of driving a Formula 1 car which is so different to an IndyCar, so when I got that opportunity, it was a couple of days before the event I didn’t have time to do anything, no simulator no testing before, so my first time in an IndyCar was in Free Practice 1, and there are only two Practice sessions. I just said yes because why the hell not, but it was tough.”