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Like Father, Like (Magnus) Son

Life can be tough after Formula One, but Kevin Magnussen has a good role model.

His ferociously fast father, Jan, has shown him how to keep racing, keep winning, and pay the bills in the USA.

The father-and-son racers had even hoped to pair-up later this month for the Daytona 24-Hour sports car classic in Florida.

Even so, Kevin is heading to America to race a Cadillac prototype in IMSA sports cars for Chip Ganassi in 2021 and there are some crazy similarities with his father’s career.

The only big difference between the pair is that Father Magnussen was one of the most-committed smokers in motor racing, long after James Hunt and Keke Rosberg proved that puffing was no threat to one-lap speed or world title success. Back then, most of the F1 grid were members of the Marlboro World Championship Team, which seems so wrong in 2020, and got bottomless cartons to fuel their need for a nicotine hit.

But there was more to Jan Magnussen than the fog of cigarette smoke that followed him from F3 to F1 and on to Le Mans and beyond.

Magnussen was a teenaged tearaway, just like his son, and graduated to Formula One with McLaren, again like his son.

Father and son both failed to fire in F1, Jan possibly because he was not the cookie-cutter racer that team boss Jackie Stewart wanted, while Kevin left a trail of broken cars as he pushed to the limit – and often beyond – during his Haas time alongside Romain Grosjean.

With F1 in the rear-view mirror, Kevin Magnussen has already got some clear perspective.

“Yeah, I dreamed of being a World Champion. I dreamed of winning races. But I got a podium and fair few seasons in Formula 1,” said Magnussen Jnr.

“ I think about where I came from and getting there and doing all these seasons, I can only really be satisfied with that. I think I’ve been really blessed and privileged to be be given this opportunity I’ve had in Formula 1.

“I’ve been in Formula 1 for eight years, if f I count my testing years as well. I’ve had six seasons of racing, kinda sorta, but I came from a little kid dreaming about F1. I went for it and I believed in it and got there and had this opportunity.”

He is already building up to his Cadillac time in sports cars and can look at his father’s success over two decades with the factory Chevrolet Corvette team, including multiple class wins at Le Mans, as the way forward.

“The last few years have been difficult in Formula 1. It’s not been super exciting for me racing at the back.

“I’m just looking forward to what’s going to happen now. I’m looking forward to going back in a car that I know is going to be able to win in a team that I know can give me the chance of fighting for championships. My first race is going to be Daytona, which I’m really super excited about.”

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