Magnussen will quit F1 if title hopes fade
"In the long run, I can’t motivate myself to fight for seventh place"
Kevin Magnussen says he doesn’t want to be "best of the rest" for his entire Formula 1 career.
"I will only race in Formula 1 as long as I believe I can become world champion," the Dane told BT newspaper.
Magnussen, who drives for the small American team Haas, is indeed ’best of the rest’ in Monaco — beaten only by Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull drivers.
The 26-year-old started his career at McLaren, but was ousted a year later. He spent a troubled year at Renault in 2016, before finding a secure seat at Haas.
But he says he’s not happy to tread water.
"If at some point I no longer believe I have the chance to win the world championship, I’ll do something else.
"In the long run, I can’t motivate myself to fight for seventh place or ’best or the rest’, that sort of thing.
"I can only do that as long as I believe in the ultimate goal of being world champion," Magnussen told the Danish newspaper.
"If I no longer believe in it, I’ll go somewhere else where the cars are more equal, the competitors are really good racing drivers and we drive on some cool race tracks," he added.
When asked what series he has in mind, Magnussen answered: "I think Indycar on the road courses is really cool in an old school way. I haven’t tried any oval tracks.
"But there are many cool categories," he added.
Magnussen, however, would prefer that Formula 1 make changes that improve the prospects for drivers who are not in one of the top two or three teams.
"I would like them to go in a direction where the cars are much more similar," he told Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
"And then the focus is more on the race and a motor sports show rather than being so technology-focused. Formula 1 has been that for many years, but right now the technology is so strange that it is not fun to watch anymore," said Magnussen.
"In the old days, it was groundbreaking and much more exciting. Now it is boring.
"I want some of the core values that Formula 1 had before, which is noise, fast cars and star drivers," he added.
Magnussen also thinks that while the current cars are setting circuit records, it is easier for young drivers to break in and thrive in F1 today.
"The reason is because the preparation is so much better than it once was," he said. "Today you have the simulator, you can watch all the onboard videos, talk to so many engineers and see so much data. When you enter Formula 1, you’re there.
"Apart from that, the cars drive very well. They are much more driver friendly than they were 15-20 years ago," added Magnussen. "They are much more predictable and efficient, which makes them easier to drive."