Former Formula 1 driver Kevin Magnussen has discussed the circumstances that led him to turning down an unofficial offer from Red Bull to join its sister team.
Magnussen was earmarked as a promising driver when he started off in the sport, but his career never really panned out that way. He finished his debut race on the podium and it heightened expectations.
However, he was soon demoted to test and reserve driver by McLaren in 2015 and was then released at the end of the year. He signed for Renault in the aftermath and was unable to make much of a mark there.
Changing teams became quite a habit for Magnussen and he saw himself in a Haas car alongside Romain Grosjean the following season. It was here that Magnussen enjoyed his finest days.
The 2018 season saw Haas lead the midfield pack and finish fifth on the constructors’ standings. Magnussen himself picked up 56 points for his effort over the course of the campaign.
However, the Formula 1 world was soon to hear about the shock departure of Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull.
The Australian had decided to sign for Renault. Red Bull had already made up its mind that his seat would be filled by Pierre Gasly.
This meant that Gasly’s seat at Toro Rosso would need to be filled. Magnussed discussed how the team looked to start a dialogue with him on a potential transfer.
However, the Danish driver said that it made no sense to make the move at the time as Haas was exceeding expectations.
“When we spoke to them, it quickly became clear they had a candidate for the Red Bull seat (Gasly) but they mentioned there would be a vacancy at Toro Rosso,” said Magnussen.
“It was not a case of them submitting a contract or anything like that, but it was clearly an option.
“We chose not to pursue the opportunity because I felt really good at Haas and believed we could continue the positive development we had through 2018.”
Unfortunately, things did not really pick up for Haas and the team suffered a collapse in 2019. The following season was Magnussen’s last in the sport.