Magnussen announced this morning that this fourth season with Haas F1 would be his last, just minutes after teammate Romain Grosjean declared that he too is leaving the American squad.
Magnussen later said that he was interested in a possible switch to the NTT IndyCar Series, and that he was not keen on the idea of taking a sabbatical.
Several former open-wheel drivers who have been forced to give up on the single-seater dream due to budgetary issues have gone on to successful and long careers in sportscars and/or touring cars, particularly when allied with a longstanding marque. Jan Magnussen is one such example, driving for Corvette Racing from 2004 through 2019, earning two IMSA GT titles and four GT-class Le Mans 24 Hour wins.
Asked by Motorsport.com if he would advise his son to follow that path, Magnussen said, “Hmm, for sure, but he doesn’t have to let go of single-seaters.
“For next season he is not going to be with Haas any more but I don’t think he’s ready yet to give up on the F1 dream.
“It’s unlikely that he’ll have a race seat for next year but there’s also 2022, which should be an exciting year in F1 with the new rules. I don’t know if there are opportunities for that year, but Kevin needs to make sure if there is or isn’t, so nothing slips through his fingers.
“I am advising Kevin to really figure out what he wants, what’s most important, and then go for that. He’s been very vocal that he wants to win races but also it has to be in something meaningful, so I do believe that he needs to go for the best opportunities he can find in either IndyCar or in the WEC. And then he needs to make his mind up on what he wants the most, and go all in on that.”
Although most IndyCar seats currently available would require Magnussen to bring sponsorship, Jan said: “Funding is a problem everywhere in the world right now – which is coincidentally why he’s in the situation that he is right now!
“There are opportunities in IndyCar, I know he’s talking to teams over there. But he also needs to be looking a little bit wider where are the opportunities and go for that.”
“In the WEC there is also some exciting stuff happening, with new manufacturers coming in, new rules with the hypercars and all that. So if he can hook up with a manufacturer, then definitely he should look at that series.”
IndyCar has an open test on November 2 at Barber Motorsports Park, just one day after the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Imola, and while Jan says Kevin therefore won’t be able to make it out to Alabama in time, he added, “That would have been a very opportune time to go and try an IndyCar.
“Right now he needs to concentrate on finishing the F1 season off the best he can and kind of do some self-promotion by doing well in the last few races. Then he needs to look for opportunities like that one you mention and try an IndyCar, see what he thinks, and also look for similar in the WEC.
“He’s open for anything, but he’s also trying to make his mind up about what is most important.
“It is tough, it is a shame but that’s the way things go in this sport sometimes. He’ll get over it and move on to something else.”