August 5, 2021

Peugeot WEC signing Magnussen rules out Haas substitute role

Magnussen, who was announced as part of Peugeot’s 2022 WEC line-up on Monday, was responding to comments from former boss Gunther Steiner.

Steiner claimed that he would be happy to call on either the Dane or fellow Haas refugee Romain Grosjean to stand in for Mick Schumacher or Nikita Mazepin if required, but Magnussen says he wouldn’t have “much interest in that”.

“Gunther is a good friend, as are many people in the Haas F1 team, but any talk about racing, like a one-off race, I don’t have much interest in that,” said Magnussen, whose primary program in 2021 is with Chip Ganassi Racing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“I like to be fully focused on what I am doing and I miss winning. I’ve done seven years of F1, [so] doing one more race I don’t think is that interesting.”

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Asked if he was drawing a line under his F1 career, Magnussen replied: “If Mercedes came and asked me if I wanted to drive, I think everyone would look at that very seriously. [But] I have given F1 a very fair shot; I think I have done my best to try to be successful.

“I’ve done it and feel like I’m ready to go and win some stuff again – that’s really where I’m at.”

Magnussen explained that he believes he has continued to improve as a driver and is ready to move forward in his career after parting company with Haas following four seasons there.

“I continued to develop as a driver even though the results [with Haas] weren’t getting better,” he said. “I feel like I am in a very good spot – with the experience I had I felt like I was ready to take some sort of step.”

He described moving into sportscars and signing for Peugeot to drive in the WEC as “the perfect step for me”.

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Steiner said last week that Haas had parted company with Magnussen and Grosjean “without fall-out” and “wouldn’t mind” having either back, although he conceded that he hadn’t talked to either about acting as a substitute.

New Dale Coyne Racing-Honda IndyCar driver Grosjean had already stated that he would be open to filling in for another driver, at the same time as describing his full-time career in F1 as a “closed book”.

Haas is planning to appoint a full-season reserve, a role filled by Pietro Fittipaldi in 2019-’20. The Brazilian, who took Grosjean’s place after his accident in Bahrain for the final two F1 races of 2021, remains a candidate for the role, according to Steiner.

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