Kevin Magnussen

The McLaren F1 team has announced that it has promoted 19-year-old Kevin Magnussen to a more senior role in its Driver Development Programme, offering him a test drive in a McLaren MP4-27 during the in-season. Magussen is the son of one-time McLaren driver Jan Magussen.

Magnussen Sr had a meteoric rise through the junior categories before he was signed as McLaren’s test driver in 1995. He made a one-off race appearance for the team at the 1995 Pacific Grand Prix (pictured below), and then later raced a season-and-a-half with the Stewart Grand Prix team in 1997-8. He was fired mid-1998, and has since raced almost exclusively in endurance racing.

Like his father, Kevin has been a sensation in the junior categories, and was signed McLaren’s Driver Development Programme in 2010. Last year, he finished runner-up in the British Formula 3 championship with seven race wins. This year, he has been signed to race in the Formula Renault 3.5 championship.

Jan Magnussen Kevin Magnussen, British F3 Championship
Like father, like son: Jan Magnussen had a one-off race with McLaren in a disappointing F1 career, while his son Kevin looks set to follow in his father’s footsteps with McLaren.

In the lead-up to his maiden F1 test, Magnussen will get involved in preparatory work with the team, including working with team engineers and being mentored by the team’s reserve drivers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey. He will also have outings in the team’s simulator.

“We’ve been delighted by Kevin’s progress, aptitude and work ethic thus far. The time was right for him to take the next step and we look forward to helping him gain the experience he requires,” said McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh.

Richard Bailey
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.