Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen Likes Pressure of Fighting for His Job

Kevin Magnussen hears the whispers, and even a few shouts, about possible drivers waiting in the wings to take his Haas seat away for 2021.

One one hand, Magnussen is liked by the American team, happy at Haas, and is believed to be in a more comfortable position than his teammate Romain Grosjean. One the other hand, the sheer number of candidates rumored to potentially replace him is making him nervous.

“I would rather be in a totally safe position with a signed contract,” Magnussen told Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet newspaper. “Anything else would be weird, but I have grown with the job and I take it as it comes.

“I know that these things are running in the background and there is pressure, but I am better at focusing on the task now. I am better at doing my best under this pressure and I enjoy it. In the past, I was really affected by it and let it affect my performance, but I have become much better at that.”

Team boss Gunther Steiner said recently there are up to 10 alternative driver candidates for 2021, and he did not rule out replacing both current drivers.

“It is clearly a more competitive driver market when you see who is available,” Magnussen said. “They are strong. There is (Sergio) Perez and (Nico) Hulkenberg and then the Ferrari junior drivers like (Mick) Schumacher and (Robert) Shwartzman and (Callum) Ilott. They have that Ferrari connection and we are a Ferrari team along with Alfa Romeo.

“It means there are a reasonable number of candidates for the seats,” Magnussen said.

But he is also confident that team boss Gene Haas recognizes his contribution to the team as a de-facto leader.

“It is important as a driver to point the team in the direction of where the car is not as it should be,” said Magnussen. “For that you have to be a leader type. The team boss and the owner are the leaders, but as a driver you also have a leadership role. It’s important that you are someone that people trust, are motivated by and want to work for.

“Someone who brings out the spark in the team.”

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