Magnussen “as ready as you can get” for F1

1 Comment

McLaren development driver Kevin Magnussen says he’s “as ready as you can get” to race in F1 next year.

Magnussen, the son of former F1 driver Jan Magnussen, won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship – part of the World Series by Renault – last weekend.

“I’m very proud about my record in 2013,” he told McLaren’s website. “Now the aim is for Formula One next year. That’s what I’ve been aiming at for a long time. The time is now.”

However it seems unlikely Magnussen could emulate Lewis Hamilton by moving straight into McLaren’s F1 team next year, as Hamilton did in 2007. McLaren are believed to have approached several junior teams about placing Magnussen with them next year.

The 21-year-old Dane ended the year on a high, claiming pole position for the last four races of them and winning all of them, apart from one race where he was disqualified due to a technical infringement. That was the only time in the last nine races he failed to finish on the podium.

“Whenever I’m asked about Formula One, I always reply that, yes, I feel ready,” he said. “I look at this way: I’ve done everything I could to prove myself in World Series – now it’s up to somebody else to make a decision.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.