Despite being demoted to a reserve role at McLaren for the 2015 Formula 1 season, Kevin Magnussen is hoping to make the most of his position and push for a swift return to a full-time race seat in the near future.
The Danish driver made his F1 debut for McLaren at the beginning of last season, finishing second in his first race. However, this proved to be the highlight of an otherwise mediocre year that saw him rank 11th in the final standings, and he was eventually dropped to make way for Fernando Alonso at Woking.
Today saw McLaren unveil its 2015 car, the MP4-30, and Magnussen was an integral part of the release, featuring in the official team photos and speaking about his hopes for the coming year.
“Although, naturally, I was disappointed to not be selected for a McLaren-Honda race seat for 2015, I’ve put it behind me and I’m now fully focused on the year ahead,” Magnussen said.
“McLaren-Honda evokes so many great memories in race fans all over the world, and I’m really proud to be a part of this team at the restart of such an important and historic partnership. Our fight back to the front of the grid is our main focus, so it’s going to be down to me to work really hard to develop the MP4-30 and make a real difference to its performance in Fernando’s and Jenson’s hands.”
However, the Dane is aiming to return to a full-time F1 seat in the near future despite not racing this year, hoping that the experience he gains in this reserve role will help his cause.
“My aim is, of course, to return to a Formula 1 race seat as soon as possible,” Magnussen said. “I’ll be giving it 100%, both on track and off it, to build on my last year’s experience, to show what I know I’m capable of, and to reward the McLaren-Honda team’s faith in me by keeping me on board.”
If Magnussen is looking for a return to a full-time seat in 2016, it is unlikely to be with McLaren as both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button are signed to the team on multi-year deals.
Seats further down the field may be available though, but for the time being, it seems that he will have to make do with becoming the focus of stock TV footage during dull periods of FP1.