A tale of two Magnussens

March 13, 2014

A tale of two Magnussens

March 13, 2014

kevinmags_3_13_14Jan Magnussen is concentrating hard on two races this weekend, not only his assault on the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring but also across the other side of the world where his son Kevin will make his Formula 1 debut with McLaren in Australia.

The second-generation Formula 1 racer won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in Europe last year – the same season his father took the ALMS GT crown.

Kevin – the young McLaren protégé – was moved into a race seat for the 2014 season alongside former World Champion, Jenson Button.

“It’s unbelievable that it’s happening. I wish I could be there, obviously, but I’ll follow the best I can,” Magnussen said.

“Luckily, all of his running is at times I won’t be running myself, so I can keep an eye on everything and follow the best I can on TV and live timing.

“It’s super exciting and I know I have to focus on my own stuff until that’s over. I need to make the best of Sebring first. But I’m not 100% sure how to handle the situation!”

Magnussen senior made one Formula One start for McLaren – filling  in at the Pacific Grand Prix in 1995 to replace Mika Häkkinen because of the Finn’s operation for appendicitis.

“It’s just an exciting time for him. I’ve spoken to him over the last couple of days. There’s real no good advise I can give him. It’s just about making sure he’s happy,” the Corvette racer said.

“He seems very focused about it and is not very nervous. He wants to get going but obviously there’s a lot of unknowns for him.

“I think the scope of being a Formula One driver, he’s starting to realize what it’s all about. He needs to try to learn to cope with those things. It starts this weekend.”

The news of Kevin’s impending debut is big news in Denmark – particularly in the Magnussen home town of Roskilde – located about 35 minutes west of Copenhagen.

“Unbelievable. Everybody wants a piece of him now and there’s a lot of demand on his time. McLaren’s doing a fantastic job protecting him as best they can from all of it so he can just concentrate on what he can do.

“But there’s a huge reaction from all of this in his hometown, where the local cinemas are showing F1. It’s pretty cool.”

Magnussen Senior kicked off his Sebring assault in good style this morning. The No.3 Corvette he’ll share with Antonio Garcia and Ryan Briscoe was third fastest in opening practice.

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