Danish motorcar driver Kevin Magnussen looks set to kick on from his victory in the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship, which he sealed with back-to-back victories in Barcelona over the weekend of October 19-20, and find a ride in next season’s Formula One.
Speaking to Autosport magazine last week, the 21-year-old revealed that his current employer – McLaren, where he has been a junior driver since 2010 – never doubted he would win for a moment.
“McLaren told me to win the championship,” he said. “They told me they expected me to win.”
Magnussen attributed his title to a change in his mental approach.
“This year I’ve been really good at trying to remove the pressure from myself by not thinking about the championship too much,” he said.
“You have to think about your point-scoring each weekend, but don’t think too much about trying to win it. That puts pressure on you, especially if you start to feel you are close to it.”
Magnussen is on a shortlist to race for Marussia next season, the team’s sporting director, Graeme Lowdon, confirmed to Sky Sports in mid-October.
“There are probably three or four drivers with good potential [to replace Max Chilton],” he said.
“Certainly Kevin has impressed in the tests he has done, and as a team that has brought young drivers into Formula One, he is in the frame.”
Magnussen has also been linked with moves to race for Force India and Lotus, where he is an outside bet to replace Kimi Räikkönen.
Unlike Marussia, which has failed to score a single point this season, Force India and Lotus have scored 62 and 264 points respectively.
By winning the Formula Renault 3.5, Magnussen joins a select group of title-holders that includes double F1 champ Fernando Alonso, who won in 1999.
Magnussen won this season’s championship by 60 points. He won five of the 17 races, notching up 13 podium finishes in total.