Kevin Magnussen has ruled out a move to IndyCar in 2017, although he admits that he is keeping his options open in case he is unable to find a way to remain in F1.
Renault’s option on the Dane is understood to have passed, leaving him free to look elsewhere for next year, although he remains hopeful of staying on with the team alongside Nico Hulkenberg, who will move across from Force India.
One of Magnussen’s options was to follow in Alexander Rossi’s footsteps by moving from F1 into IndyCar with Andretti Autosport. Asked by RACER whether he would be open to the move, the 24-year-old said that he is in contact with the team, but insisted that IndyCar is not on his horizon for next year.
“I went [to Andretti Autosport] at the beginning of 2015; I went to Indianapolis to visit them and talk to them,” he said. “I talk to the guys there because I like them, and I support them, and I follow IndyCar, but there is nothing serious going on, and I don’t intend to be in IndyCar next year.”
Several F1 seats remain open for next year, including the one at Force India that will be vacated by Hulkenberg. Magnussen admitted that he is casting a wide net, but insists that remaining with Renault is his priority.
“There are options; there are seats available, and we’re talking to all of the options,” he said. “There’s no reason not to talk to people. But it’s no more than talking. I want to be here next year, I hope I will be, and I feel I should be. And that’s my target. I’m trying as much as I can to let other people do the work in the background and then I need to do my job on the track.
“Whatever I’ve been through over the last few years, it has been tough, and right now it’s tough again. But I feel like it’s worth it. I think this team is a place where I can eventually, in future fight for world championships. So the tough times at the moment will be worth it if it works out. There’s no reason to give up. It’s probably tougher than it should be, but I’m sure it will be worth it.”
Prior to his season with Renault, Magnussen raced with McLaren in 2014 before being demoted to test/reserve driver for 2015, and dropped altogether before the end of the season. He tested a Mercedes DTM car and Porsche’s LMP1 over the winter before landing the Renault seat, and said that he is being more aggressive in pursuing opportunities this time around to avoid being left stranded.
“One of the mistakes I did with McLaren was to not talk with anyone else because I thought I had the seat, and I had strong indications from them that I did have the seat,” he said. “So I didn’t feel like I needed to talk to anyone else.
“This year I’ve learned from that mistake and I’ve tried to make sure that I won’t be in the situation that I can’t race anything. So for sure I’m in a better position than I was back then.”