Kevin Magnussen considers himself lucky to have raced in F1 but the Dane believes the modern Grand Prix car lacks “a little bit of soul” compared to the Cadillac sportscar he tested at Sebring this week.
The Haas F1 team’s decision to refresh its line-up this year has forced Magnussen off the grid. But the 28-year-old’s skills have been picked up by Chip Ganassi Racing in the US for whom the former F1 driver will contest this year’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship
And Magnussen’s first test onboard the team’s Cadillac DPi-V.R. at Sebring left him with a broad smile on his face and an “eye-opening” experience.
“I’ve been driving an airplane, basically, for the last six or seven years,” Magnussen told RACER. “Which is awesome — driving an F1 car is great fun, but it lacks a little bit of soul.
“There’s something missing. F1 used to have that but coming back and driving the Cadillac DPi has been a real eye opener.
“The sound and the way the engine responds — even the track. Sebring, it doesn’t get more old school than this. It’s kind of a dream come true.”
Despite his rookie status in the American sportscar series, Magnussen took to his new environment like a fish takes to water.
“Everything I look at here is new to me,” he said. “The whole car, of course, but even the language they use to talk about the car, and all the systems, and setup-wise, the language is really different.
“I feel at home straight away. It’s been awesome to drive a real race car again.
“Every time I touched the throttle, I got goose bumps,” he added. “This is what it’s all about. This is where the passion started. It comes from things like the sound and the smell and the looks.
“I couldn’t be happier. I get goose bumps even thinking about what’s ahead of us and what we’re facing. I can’t wait for it all.”
Magnussen will share his CGR Cadillac ride this season with 34-year-old Dutchman and IMSA veteran Renger van der Zande.
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