Kevin Magnussen feels he is a "changed person" following his Formula 1 comeback in 2022 with the Haas team.
Dane Magnussen was let go by the American squad at the end of 2020, along with Romain Grosjean, to make way for Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin in 2021.
The team were set to contest the new campaign with the same driver pairing, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February prompted Haas to terminate Mazepin's contract owing to close family links with President Vladimir Putin.
Faced with requiring a driver at short notice with the all-new breed of cars, team boss Guenther Steiner asked Magnussen to return.
In the season-opener, Magnussen finished a strong fifth, with the 10 points he hauled more than three times as many as the team had done so in the previous two seasons combined.
He would later take a maiden pole position in Brazil in changeable conditions and finished a respectable 13th in the standings with 25 points.
Magnussen believes that his time away from F1 changed him for the better.
Time away changed Magnussen
"I think it depends who you are and how you spend the time, but certainly last year was great," Magnussen explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.
"I feel like a changed person coming back, I became a parent and just thought that Formula 1 was over.
"So I had quite a different perspective on life after that year, so it was significant for me.
"I don't know if it would be the same for everyone, but for me, it was okay."
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Magnussen on pressure in first career
Magnussen's return with Haas in 2022 is the third of his career, having rejoined the grid in 2016 with Renault after losing his McLaren drive the year before.
He feels that in his spells with McLaren, Renault and Haas (first time around), he put too much pressure on himself.
"It was the mental part, I felt so much weight on my shoulders from all the expectations of myself," he added.
"Finally getting to Formula 1, realising a big part of my ambition as a human being and it was such a big responsibility for myself.
"The pressure from the team wasn't actually so big, they were so supportive, and most of the teams wanted to keep me, but it was political fights that meant I didn't get a chance to stay on.
"But it is certainly hard mentally once you get under pressure, and in my case, it wasn't helped by being on the podium in my very first race (second in the 2014 Australian Grand Prix) which set expectations too high."
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