Tag Archives: Kevin Magnussen

Formula 1

McLaren MP4-29


McLaren became the first Formula 1 team to fully unveil a 2014 car as it launched the MP4-29 online on Friday.

While Force India and Williams had already given hints of their new designs with computer-generated images, McLaren’s event marked the first proper look a 2014 F1 design.

It featured the anticipated take on the controversial nose design that teams have leaned to under the new regulations, with a narrow protruding section to meet the revised crash test rules without lowering the entire front end as the rulemakers originally envisaged.

The car was unveiled in a plain silver livery with basic MP4-29 branding.

Formula 1

Nasir Hameed and younger Magnussen
Nasir Hameed and younger Magnussen


Magnussen will replace Sergio Perez at McLaren in 2014.

The initial report was done by Autosport’s Jonathan Noble on Sunday, suggesting the 21-year-old Dane had emerged as favorite after team meetings post-the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. McLaren team boss called Perez’s efforts in Abu Dhabi, “disappointing.”

Then on Monday, BBC reporter Andrew Bensoncited sources who said a contract isn’t signed, but the team has chosen Magnussen as the replacement. Veteran journalist Joe Saward also said in his blog McLaren has opted not to take its option up on Perez.

Magnussen has won this year’s World Series by Renault championship and impressed in two F1 tests.

Statistically speaking Perez hasn’t performed as well as teammate Jenson Button, but neither has been able to make much out of this year’s difficult chassis. Less than a week ago, though, reports were beginning to emerge that Perez’s seat was in doubt.



While all eyes are on the championship duel between Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing), Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) and Sam Bird (ISR), Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) and Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) are in no mood to make up the numbers on the final weekend of the season. The Dane and the Portuguese shone in the dry and the wet in Friday’s two collective testing sessions, while the three leaders in the points went about their preparations for the final push of the campaign.

Rain was falling when the 26 drivers arrived for the final two Formula Renault 3.5 Series collective testing sessions of the season. Among them was Hungarian racer Tamas Pal Kiss, who is making his return for BVM Target. Competing on their last weekend in the category are Franco-Russian outfit Team RFR, who will make way for AV Formula on Monday.

Nico Muller (International Draco Racing) and Sam Bird were the first to settle in the wet conditions, though the session was soon interrupted by a red flag when Daniel Abt (Tech 1 Racing) went off.

On the resumption, Antonio Felix da Costa made the most of a clear track to set a fastest lap of 1:51.961, putting him ahead of Sam Bird and Nico Muller before the red flag came out again, this time when Yann Cunha (Pons Racing) and Tamas Pal Kiss had grassy moments. The Portuguese stayed out front in what remained of the opening session, leading the way from Sam Bird and Nico Muller, with Will Stevens (Carlin) and Arthur Pic (Dams) rounding off the top five.

Slicks were the only option in the afternoon, by which time track conditions had improved considerably. Kevin Korjus (Lotus) set the tempo before a short neutralisation period triggered by Arthur Pic grinding to a halt on the track. Antonio Felix da Costa was at it again on the restart as he went fastest in a time of 1:31.481, with Kevin Magnussen second, just 0.040s off the pace.

Kevin Korjus then barged in front, while Antonio Felix da Costa collided with the track barrier, prompting the red flag to put in another appearance and leading to the Portuguese’s fastest time being wiped, in accordance with the regulations. Then, with just a few seconds to go before the chequered flag, Kevin Magnussen went top of the times with a lap of 1:30.736, the day’s quickest. Completing the top five behind him were Kevin Korjus, Sam Bird, Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) and Will Stevens (Carlin).

What they said:

Kevin Magnussen: “I’d rather be involved in the title battle with Jules Bianchi, Robin Frijns and Sam Bird. All the same, this is the type of weekend where there’s always something going on. All in all it’s been a disappointing season because we’ve shown we’ve got the pace and we’ve had the means to do well in the overall standings. We’ve just lacked consistency and success, which is all part of the learning process at the highest level. Even so, I really want to finish the season on a high note.”

Antonio Felix da Costa: “The car went very well in the wet this morning. It started the afternoon well too, but I came across a wet kerb as I was overtaking some slower cars and just lost it. Luckily there wasn’t too much damage. I’m going to drive the same way as I have at other weekends, racing my race without bothering about what everyone else is doing and trying to avoid any kind of contact.”

Jules Bianchi: “I need to look on this as just another weekend and not put any extra pressure on myself. There’s no point in that. We went about our work today the same way we usually do, though I’m still not that happy with the car this afternoon. We need to work out why that is. It’s good to be in the lead, but my main objective is to have a competitive car for the rest of the weekend.”

WSR 3.5

Maiden victory for Antonio Felix da Costa

Having driven a superb race, Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) seemed on course to claim his second win of the season in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. However, on the final lap, the Dane was forced to stop his car following a gearbox oil leak. This allowed Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham) to grab victory for the first time in the competition. Marco Sorensen (Lotus) finished second and Will Stevens (Carlin) came third to complete an all-rookie podium. Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports), meanwhile, strengthened his championship lead and finishes the weekend with a 24-point advantage at the top.

Robin Frijns qualified seven thousandths of a second quicker than Kevin Magnussen to take his fourth pole of the season, after a session in which 16 drivers were separated by less than a second. Arthur Pic (Dams) and Antonio Felix da Costa lined up on the second row, while Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing) and Sam Bird (ISR) – Frijns’s main title rivals – started in seventh and ninth respectively.

As the lights went out, Robin Frijns stayed glued to the starting grid, allowing Kevin Magnussen to take the lead ahead of Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Sam Bird. Marco Sorensen got away in fifth place ahead of Arthur Pic, while Robin Frijns slipped down into seventh, just in front of Jules Bianchi. The order changed again on lap three when Jules Bianchi was overtaken by Kevin Korjus. Robin Frijns gained a place the following lap by overtaking Arthur Pic, a move that saw the championship leader climb into sixth place.

With the mantatory pitstop looming, Robin Frijns closed in on Marco Sorensen. Sam Bird was the first of the frontrunners to enter the pits for a change of tyres. Robin Frijns made his stop a lap later, at the same time as Arthur Pic, but the Dutchman rejoined the race behind the Frenchman.

With all the drivers having made their stops, Kevin Magnussen regained the race lead, with Antonio Felix da Costa, Marco Sorensen, Will Stevens, Sam Bird, Arthur Pic and Robin Frijns chasing behind. There was little action of note between the front pair, with Kevin Magnussen managing his race superbly and maintaining a comfortable lead over Antonio Felix da Costa.

But while the order at the front seemed settled, there was a thrilling battle for fifth place in the closing stages of the race. As the laps went by, Robin Frijns grew increasingly impatient behind Arthur Pic and Sam Bird. Frijns eventually pounced on a mistake by Pic and moved up into sixth place.

At the end of the race, the tension in the Carlin camp was palpable as white smoke began to appear from Kevin Magnussen’s car. In the final lap, the Dane was forced to stop his car after falling foul of gearbox oil leak. Antonio Felix da Costa took advantage to snatch a last-gasp victory ahead of Marco Sorensen and Will Stevens. Sam Bird finished fourth, just ahead of Robin Frijns. The result sees Frijns retain his place at the top of the championship with a 24-point lead over Jules Bianchi, who crossed the line in ninth.

What they said:

Antonio Felix da Costa: “I was handed the win after Kevin Magnussen retired. I feel sorry for him, but that’s racing, and it happened to me last week in the GP3 Series. This is a first victory for me and for Arden Caterham, so it’s obviously a great day for us. This isn’t my favourite circuit, but I won both races here in GP3 and now I’ve got my first victory in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series.”

Marco Sorensen: “I’ve had my share of bad luck, particularly at Silverstone, where a puncture cost me the victory. So I’m happy to be back on the podium. We weren’t quite up to scratch in qualifying this weekend. We’ll have to work on that aspect to have a hope of winning one of the remaining races.”

Will Stevens: “Of course, I feel sorry for Kevin. As for me, I learn something every time I get into the car, as I’ve joined directly from the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0. I’m picking up the pace with each race, and this podium is a reward for all the hard work that Carlin and I have been putting in.”

WSR 3.5

Robin Frijns wins to extend championship lead…

Robin Frijns (Fortec Motorsports) increased his championship lead with victory at the Hungaroring, and in doing so became the first driver to record three victories in this season’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Frijns led race one from start to finish to win from Kevin Magnussen (Carlin) and Jules Bianchi (Tech 1 Racing). The 2011 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion now holds a 16-point lead over Jules Bianchi, who moves up to second, and is 29 points clear of Sam Bird (ISR).

After an extremely hard-fought qualifying session, Robin Frijns became the third driver this year to claim three pole positions after Kevin Magnussen and Jules Bianchi, who qualified in second and third respectively.

The sun finally came out as the 26 cars lined up on the starting grid, against the backdrop of a stunning air display. Robin Frijns reacted quickest as the lights went out to lead into turn one, ahead of Kevin Magnussen, Jules Bianchi, Arthur Pic and Antonio Felix da Costa (Arden Caterham).

Robin Frijns pushed hard in the early stages of the race as he looked to pull away from his rivals. Kevin Magnussen managed to keep pace with the leader, while Jules Bianchi gradually lost contact with the pair. Arthur Pic, in fourth, headed up a compact chasing pack, with Antonio Felix da Costa, Nico Müller (International Draco Racing), Carlos Huertas (Fortec Motorsports), Marco Sorensen (Lotus) and Alexander Rossi (Arden Caterham) all on his tail.

On lap eight, Kevin Magnussen made a slight mistake that saw him lose touch with Robin Frijns. Antonio Felix da Costa, meanwhile, passed Arthur Pic to move up into fourth place.

By the halfway stage, Robin Frijns’s lead over Kevin Magnussen had levelled out to around two seconds, with the same margin separating the Dane from Jules Bianchi. The closing stages of the race were fairly straightforward for the leading trio, and it was Robin Frijns who eventually took the chequered flag for his third win of the season, having led from start to finish. Kevin Magnussen, for his part, came home in second to return to the points positions, having failed to score at all at Silverstone. Jules Bianchi finished third to move up to second in the championship standings, 16 points behind leader Robin Frijns. Sam Bird, however, could only manage a disappointing tenth place.

What they said:

Robin Frijns: “It’s been the perfect day, with a good performance in qualifying and a race victory. The race wasn’t easy, as I had to contain Kevin Magnussen. Sixteen points is a good lead, but it’s not enough. Since the start of the season, I’ve often been unlucky in one of the two races and I know that Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird don’t give an inch. So I’ll need a second good day tomorrow to make this weekend a success.”

Kevin Magnussen: “On the whole, I’ve lacked consistency this year. Sometimes things have gone really well, and I’ve won both races, while other times things haven’t gone so well, like with the two retirements at Silverstone. So, my goal now is to build on this and score points in every race. I’m pleased with this second place.”

Jules Bianchi: “The championship remains open, but Robin Frijns did another great job today. It’s not going to be easy if he maintains this form. As for me, we were on the pace in qualifying but not during the race. I made a few mistakes as I couldn’t keep up with the pace, and we’ll need to do some work so that we can bounce back tomorrow.”

Motorsports Mondial


Happy Yelloly

Brit Grit. Nick Yelloly fended off a late race challenge from Jules Bianchi to give Comtec team first race victory since 2009.

Surprise winner in season opener at Aragon. Jules Bianchi is close second. Great drives from Kevin Magnussen and Robin Frijns.

Great qualifying position from front row, opening lap mayhem and a determined drive all helped 21-year-old English driver Nick Yelloly to win the opening round of the 2012 Formula Renault 3.5 at Motorland Aragon in Spain.

Arthur Pic, brother of F1 racer Charles, grabbed pole position for DAMS after being the pace setter in practice with Yelloly starting second for Comtec.

Row two had two of the favorites for the championship; Estonian Kevin Korjus with Tech 1 and Kiwi Richie Stanaway for Lotus, aka ART.

The second Tech 1 car driven by Ferrari young driver and Force India reserve driver Jules Bianchi was fifth on the grid; American Jake Rosenzweig was sixth for Czech ISR team.

Californian Alexander Rossi, last year third in the championship, qualified 13th with his new team for this season, Arden.

Crash & Casualties

The start was not kind to second row starters. Stanaway stalled and was then hit by the BVM Target car of Italian Giovanni Venturini. Korjus also struggled and while still on the opening lap was involved in a crash which would lead to his retirement and also for Rossi and Swiss Draco driver Nico Muller.

California Cool. Alexander Rossi’s focus is on winning the championship this season after finishing third last year behind Robert Wickens and Jean-Eric Vergne.

Yelloly had grabbed the lead from Pic at the start and was able to maintain his position four laps later after the safety car period was over. Another four laps later pole sitter Pic was out after a collision with Rosenzweig.

The leading trio of Yelloly, Colombian Carlos Huertas and Bianchi pulled away from rest of the field. On lap 16 Bianchi passed the Fortec car of Huertas and began to hunt down race leader Yelloly.

Bianchi brought the gap down to half a second but was not able to make the pass on Yelloly to take the lead, finally settling for second. Huertas’ late race engine woes allowed young Dane Kevin Magnussen grab final spot on the podium.

Frijns benefit. With two championships in past two years Dutchman Robin Frijns is looking for a three-peat in his rookie Formula Renault 3.5 season.

Fortec’s Dutchman Robin Frijns, the quickest driver in pre-season testing, was 17th at the end of the opening lap but charged up the field to finish an excellent fourth. Teammate Huertas was able to salvage a top five finish.

View from the top

The podium finishers as quoted on www.worldseriesbyrenault.fr

Nick Yelloly: “I made the perfect start, something we’d worked on a lot in pre-season testing. The safety car allowed me to save my DRS till the end of the race, though I had to make sure I didn’t make a mistake when Jules Bianchi started to come back at me. It’s a relief to start the season with a win. It takes a lot of pressure off, and it’s great for Comtec Racing, who haven’t won for a long time.”

Jules Bianchi: “It was all happening at the start. I locked a front wheel and brushed against Nick, and then I had trouble getting past Carlos Huertas. I managed it in the end and then went after Nick. I was pretty confident because my tyres were in good condition, but the only thing was I lost engine power at the end. Nick drove the perfect race, so congratulations to him and thanks to my team. This is a good way to start the championship.”

Kevin Magnussen: “You don’t expect to get on the podium when you start in 19th. I picked up a lot of places in the first few laps because there were cars going in all directions. I need to work on qualifying because we won’t run this well in every race. Our race pace was very good, though.”

Race two is on Sunday.


— Nasir Hameed.


All photos courtesy of World Series by Renault.