Haas F1‘s Kevin Magnussen has revealed his former McLaren teammate Lewis Hamilton had little to no freedom at the Woking-based team, as the Dane explains McLaren try to shape their driver a certain kind of way.
It’s easy to forget, with the way his career at the Woking team panned out, but Magnussen had an incredible debut race with the team. He finished his F1 debut on the podium, something that rarely happens; Hamilton and Jacques Villeneuve were the last two drivers before him to do so.
An academy product from the British team, the 26-year-old has now blossomed since switching to Haas F1. 2018 was his highest scoring season ever, logging 56 points for the American team. He’s changed a lot since his McLaren days, he revealed in an interview with Racingnews365.
“McLaren expected a certain type of behaviour from us, a certain attitude,” K-Mag explained.
“They created drivers, so to speak. Lewis Hamilton is the perfect example of a driver who couldn’t express himself at McLaren. Freedom was taken from Lewis.
“Sometimes, you have to compare drivers to musicians or artists – they need space to come up with brilliant things. If you put a label on a driver he can’t remove, it can be tricky.”
The Dane insists he misses the people he worked with at the British outfit, although he does say he needed to leave Woking to become a better driver.
“Of course, I miss the people who work at McLaren sometimes and I can’t complain about my time there, but for my personal growth it’s good that I’m no longer with the team.”
Now, Magnussen and Hamilton will be focusing on the 2019 season with their respective teams. Will Lewis Hamilton clinch his 6th Formula One title or will someone else spoil the party? Also, how will McLaren fare with their new lineup?