“It was clearly an option” – Ex-F1 driver Kevin Magnussen reveals the team he turned down in 2019 to continue with high-flying American outfit Haas.
Kevin Magnussen, popularly known as K-Mag, has driven for McLaren, Renault, and Haas in Formula 1. Currently, he is competing in the 2021 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. But had he chosen a different team on offer in place of Haas in 2019, he could have still been in F1.
— Kevin Magnussen (@KevinMagnussen) March 15, 2021
Speaking to Danish newspaper B.T on the sidelines of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Magnussen revealed Toro Rosso had approached him with a seat. This after Daniel Ricciardo was making the move to Magnussen’s former team Renault, and Pierre Gasly was making the move up to Red Bull. As part of the domino effect, the Red Bull family was intent on poaching K-Mag from Haas.
“When we spoke to them, it quickly became clear that they had a candidate for the Red Bull seat. But they mentioned that there would be a vacancy for Toro Rosso. It was not a question of them submitting a contract or the like, but it was clearly an option, ”
“We chose not to pursue the opportunity because I felt really good at Haas and believed that we could continue the positive development we had through 2018.”
His choice made sense then, as Haas finished their career-best P5 in 2018, giving strong competition to giants Renault. As a result, Red Bull chose to bring in Alex Albon to Toro Rosso instead, who also went on to replace Pierre Gasly in the senior team. As things stand, Albon is now a reserve/test driver in the Red Bull family.