Kevin Magnussen says a move to IndyCar in 2021 is not looking likely for him despite having talks with teams in the series after his departure from the Haas F1 team was announced.
Both Magnussen and teammate Romain Grosjean are leaving Haas at the end of the year and have few options available when it comes to racing in Formula 1 next season. The pair have shown an interest in IndyCar that has been reciprocated from the U.S., but Magnussen thinks it’s too late to put a package together to compete.
“IndyCar is something very high on my list and I’ve always been a fan; I’d love to try it,” Magnussen said. “It’s a challenge that I’d really get really excited about, a lot of new things but I’ve always found oval tracks to be something that I think is spectacular — very different to what I’ve ever done in my career. We don’t really do ovals in Europe.
“The road courses out there are fantastic as well, really old school, and the thing about the cars being very similar is also a very good thing. That means you can make a bigger difference as a driver. My dad has been racing in America for about 20 years and I’ve spent a lot of time there. I really like being in America; I think that would suit me pretty well.
“I’ve been speaking with teams and seeing what is possible. We’re a little bit late in the year, so a lot of teams have already got drivers for the future, I don’t think it looks likely for next year, for sure.”
It’s not just Magnussen who is wary of the need to bring budget to IndyCar, as Grosjean — who says he will have a personal decision to make on whether he’d move to the U.S. if he could secure a seat, given his young family — admits he also sees the importance of having a major sponsor as he explores such a switch.
“There is always opportunities and talking to different teams,” Grosjean said. “As Kev says, we are late, some of the teams are fully booked, but there are opportunities left. Looking at what we can do, how we can do it, I think there are some wishes from both sides to make it happen, which is nice, and some good challenges.
“If you look at Penske or Chip Ganassi, which I guess are the two top teams, they’re fully booked, but you would not necessarily expect to land on one of those seats for the first year going to IndyCar — I think you need to prove you can race in that series.
“I’ve been speaking with Simon Pagenaud, also Marcus Ericsson — he has been really helpful, he knows Europe, GP2, F1 and now he knows the U.S., like Simon. I think it’s good. Let’s see what’s coming, I’m hoping in the next few days we can look at details and so on, but I think motorsports is changing generally — I wouldn’t be surprised that drivers around the world need to have a sponsor that wants to follow them.
“Jimmie Johnson is a good example in IndyCar, but also others where you represent an image and a company behind the image is happy that you are represented and move forward.”