Magnussen open to post-F1 career in US, but not Indycar
"I would like to try the Indy 500"
Kevin Magnussen has played down the likelihood that he might follow his former Haas teammate Romain Grosjean into Indycar once his own F1 career is over.
That is despite the fact that, while in Las Vegas for the grand prix, the Danish driver admitted that he resonates strongly with the way of life in the United States.
"I think I connect it a bit with my childhood," he told Ekstra Bladet. "I used to come over here as a child to visit my father," said the son of former F1 and Indycar driver Jan Magnussen.
"We rode ATVs out in the middle of nowhere. Went on jet skis in the lake close to where he lived. We were at racetracks, buying toys. It was always like a play holiday when I was in the US," Magnussen added.
The 31-year-old lives with his young family in Europe, but he admits he is thinking about "getting a place over here at some point".
Where he draws the line, however, is planning an Indycar career for his post-F1 days.
"When I’m done here, I want to get back into sports cars," he said, referring to 2021 when - having been temporarily ousted by Haas - he drove for Chip Ganassi.
"I actually really enjoyed it," said Magnussen. "That’s why I don’t think it will come to anything with Indycar.
"I would like to try the Indy 500, but maybe something has also changed a little in myself after my two little ones entered the world."
Racing in America, however, still appeals to Magnussen.
"This (F1) is also fun, but it’s very serious and cynical. There are not as many smiles on the faces in Formula 1 as there are in American motorsport.
"There are many more really passionate people in American motorsports than there are here," he added amid the glitz and glamour in Las Vegas.
And that, he said, is why a US-based sports car series like IMSA appeals to him.
"It might sound strange when I come from Formula 1 to move down to IMSA," said Magnussen. "But I was learning a new track each weekend and every one of them was cool.
"It’s also because I had gone to many of them as a child - standing out there on the sidelines watching my dad drive with the desire to try it myself. So for me it was also really a dream that came true."
He says his forced break from F1 in 2021 reconnected him with "the joy of racing".
"I think somewhere along the line I was sometimes forgetting that a bit in the years leading up to 2021," said Magnussen. "It is very serious here in F1.
"People walk around with furrowed brows, thinking things over. There is just too much at stake in this world. It’s also super-serious in the US, but it’s in a different way. There is a different basic atmosphere."
And as for the atmosphere in Las Vegas?: "Not really my cup of tea," Magnussen smiled.
More on Haas F1