Confirming recent rumours that Jenson Button was on the verge of retirement in 2014, Kevin Magnussen claims that he was to partner Fernando Alonso in the 2015 season.
Magnussen, speaking with Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet, admitted to being disappointed when McLaren chose to extend Button’s contract, which relegated the Dane to a reserve role within the team.
“I was told that it was my seat,” Magnussen said, “I cannot remember it exactly but, at the end of the season, I was told that I did not need to worry.”
The Dane also conceded that his last few outings with the Woking outfit didn’t do him many favours in promoting his abilities behind the wheel, while Button enjoyed an impressive end of season form which ultimately influenced the team’s decision.
“Jenson had his two best races at the end of the season. He did really well. But he had also hung photos of his entire career in his room. He had a helmet ready to go that said ‘goodbye’ on it.
“He was driving only to have fun and enjoy his last two races without stress or pressure, believing 100 per cent that he was done in F1.”
“If I could go back and do it all again, I would do some things differently in the last two races, They were the only two bad races I ran, and it’s just a pity that they were the last two, but I was very much under pressure,” Magnussen continued.
“I took some stupid choices with the set-up and strategy, which meant that I lost a lot. I bet with the set-up because I really wanted to beat him, but I went too much compromise on my car for the race, I got a bad start, slipped a lot on the tyres and, in Abu Dhabi, I panicked because now I had [fallen] too far back. I pushed too much so, in the middle of the stint, I had destroyed my tyres and had to pit too early.”
Despite McLaren’s decision to drop the 23-year-old from the team on his birthday in October, Magnussen insists he holds no hard feelings towards his former teammate.
“Jenson is a good bloke and there’s nothing bad between us, we are in the same sport and competing for the same seats. There is full respect. “I know why he got the seat and there’s nothing between him and me at all.”
Since his McLaren’s departure, Magnussen has completed a test with the Mercedes DTM program, as well as Porsche’s LMP1 919 Hybrid last month.
Images via XPB Images and Porsche Media