Sports Personality of the Year: Lewis Hamilton receives award
Kevin Magnussen has revealed that he expected to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the world championship in his first season in Formula One. Magnussen is currently without a team after leaving Haas at the end of last season. And the Dane has reflected on his career in the sport.
Magnussen started with McLaren in 2014 and had immediate success.
He finished third in his first ever race at the Australian Grand Prix, and was later promoted to second, to become the first debutant since Hamilton in 2007 to get a podium finish.
As a 22-year-old, Magnussen says he expected to challenge Hamilton for the title after the success he had in Australia.
However, that remains the only time the 28-year-old has finished in the top three.
“It’s hard to know how things are going to go,” Magnussen told Autosport.
“When I started my F1 career in Melbourne 2014, I had pretty high expectations.
“I thought I was going to be fighting for the championship in my first year after that first race.
“You can’t ever predict how things are going to go in Formula 1. You’ve just got to do the best, and enjoy it while it lasts.”
After two years at McLaren, Magnussen started driving for Renault in 2016.
But after just one season at Renault, he moved to Haas for the next four campaigns.
Magnussen says he has lived his dream despite not being able to challenge the top drivers as much as he wanted.
“I can’t complain, I’m thankful for the opportunity McLaren gave me as a rookie,” he added.
“I can’t really say that I regret anything. I thought I was going to get into Formula 1 with Force India back then. That was almost a done deal, that was my expectation, and what McLaren was telling me, that they would place me in Force India.
“At the last minute, it changed, and they put me in McLaren. It was also a very hectic time around my debut, but at the end of the day, I’m happy with how things turned out.
“You can always look back and find things that I would have done differently if I could do it again, and decisions I would have done differently if I could do it again.
“But at the end of the day, I got a career in Formula 1. Not many people get to do that. As a young kid dreaming of Formula 1, it’s a pretty difficult dream to realise.
“I did that, and I’m thankful for that, and pleased that I got the opportunity.”
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