Kevin Magnussen has had an unremarkable Formula One career so far. Since his debut race, there hasn’t been much else to speak of. His podium in Melbourne is a dubious one considering the incredible unreliability that decimated the field.
Having come into F1 with a glowing reputation that buzzed with potential, that excitement as well and truly fizzled out. His results have not been electrifying so far.
After being dropped by McLaren in favour of Fernando Alonso after one season, it wasn’t clear where the next drive was going to come from. It seemed as though another young driver was set to fall at the wayside.
Disappointing at Renault
Fortunately for Kevin, Renault came calling and he was back on the grid last season. Unfortunately for Kevin, the team were not peforming anywhere the required standard. Renault themselves disregarded the season as a learning curve and basically wrote off their chances of any meaningful results before the lights went out.
But in the case of Magnussen, the performance of the car does not excuse an extremely ordinary year for the driver. There was no hint that Kevin was going to carry his team forward. Even up against Jolyon Palmer, who was judged by many to have had a fairly disappointing season, Magnussen did little to enthuse potential employers.
I was slightly surprised to see how hard Magnussen seemed to be fighting to leave Renault. There is no doubting the man’s confidence that he felt he could find a better drive. The signs definitely weren’t showing that he had deserved such a promotion.
He has since commented on his time at Renault, seemingly pointing fingers at his old employers. I myself question the richness of such comments, seeing as he did little to improve things.
Time to achieve at Haas
Having already missed out at Haas before signing for Renault, it makes me wonder how quickly the American team regretted their decision to sign Esteban Gutierrez. Ferrari, whom Gutierrez was signed to, clearly applied pressure, but it was absolutely the wrong choice.
Now that Magnussen has got his wish it is time to prove himself. It is true that Renault were not able to compete with the likes of Haas last year, but that same excuse will not be valid this year. I expect his new team to have progressed from last season. I can see the points being a consistent target through the year.
In Romain Grosjean, Kevin has a proven commodity to compare himself to. I will be interested to see how he stacks up. But I will remain unconvinced unless I see a substantial improvement in Magnussen’s performances this year. For someone who is clearly talented, it is not good enough to achieve the minimum requirement. This man needs to be striking over and above his expectations.
(Morio CC BY-SA 4.0)
(Morio CC BY-SA 4.0)
((1) Morio CC BY-SA 4.0)
((2) Morio CC BY-SA 4.0)