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Formula Renault 3.5

If the timesheets in winter testing were anything to go by, the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series title looked as if it would come down to a duel between Stoffel Vandoorne and Antonio Felix da Costa. Five races into the season, however, it is Kevin Magnussen who is dictating the pace.

There is a touch of Kimi Raikkonen about Kevin Magnussen, and not just because the Dane too has blond hair and steely blue eyes. Like the flying Finn, the 20-year-old Magnussen is a man of few words and as determined as they come, his burning ambition being to scale the heights and make it to F1, just like his father Jan, who appeared in 25 grands prix back in the 1990s. “He’s a typical Nordic type,” said DAMS General Manager Francois Sicard. “He might seem cool to begin with but he’s actually very warm and approachable. The main thing about him is his determination, though his team have managed to mellow him a little bit.”

After making his breakthrough in Formula Renault 2.0 and then F3, the Dane earned a place in the McLaren Young Driver Programme in 2010. In finishing seventh in last year’s Formula Renault 3.5 Series, he enjoyed a hugely productive weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, recording two pole positions and a race win. This season is one in which he was expected to fulfil his potential, and the Dane is doing just that. In among the points in each of this year’s five races, Magnussen has defied all predictions of a private battle between Vandoorne and Da Costa. “I don’t really read the press, so I don’t know what people have been saying,” commented the man himself. “I just focus on what I have to do. There are a lot of very good drivers in this championship and to win it you have to go out and score points every time
and win races whenever you get the chance to.”

“We weren’t absolutely relaxed but we weren’t worried either when we saw other drivers posting the fastest times this winter,” added Sicard. “The team and the drivers were just getting to know each other at first and then we started trying a lot of things out so we could get a better understanding of the car. There were times when we weren’t always heading in the right direction but we knew we would be competitive at the start of the season.”

After scoring two second places at Monza and a win at Motorland, Magnussen finished fourth at Monaco, successfully holding off a series of attacks by title rival Da Costa. “It was a good weekend in terms of the championship but there were three drivers who did better than me, so I can’t be entirely satisfied,” said the Dane, who is not about to start resting on his laurels. “I’m now going to get ready for Spa by spending as much time as I can with the team at Le Mans.”

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 31 May 2013
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