Kevin Magnussen's return to Formula 1 for 2022 has been one of the feel-good stories of the season so far, with the popular Danish driver getting a second chance in the sport after being dropped by Haas at the end of 2020.
With that decision taken by Haas due to economic reasons, moreso than any shortcomings on Magnussen's side, it was scant consolation for him as he was left with no F1 cockpit.
Instead, Magnussen spent the year finding his feet in sportscars by racing in the IMSA series in the United States, as well as making an IndyCar appearance with McLaren.
Magnussen got the call back from Haas after the American-led team dropped Russian title sponsor Uralkali and race driver Nikita Mazepin, with an overjoyed Magnussen dropping everything to return to F1.
Three races in, Magnussen lies ninth in the Drivers' Championship, having scored a fifth and a ninth place in the first two races of the season.
Reflecting on his year as an F1 outsider, Magnussen revealed he was able to watch the races on television without a sense of jealousy or loss.
Magnussen was "grateful" for having experienced F1
Magnussen explained that, after having a terrible 2020 with an uncompetitive machine, he put F1 behind him with relative ease.
"I very quickly moved on," he told Tom Clarkson on the Beyond the Grid podcast.
"I was able to very quickly
look back at Formula 1 and be grateful, rather than missing it and
feeling miserable about not being there anymore.
"I was able to feel way happier after getting out than when I was in it. Because, when I was in it, I didn't feel so grateful.
was more disappointed in the last two seasons of not being where I
wanted to be in F1. We had a very tough season in 2020 and I wasn't able
to appreciate F1 as much as I should have.
"When I came out, I was able to look back at my F1 career and I actually realised that I was so, so lucky to be able to get to the sport. F1 is such a hard place to get to and I was able to get there!
"I dreamt about getting there since I was a little child. Looking at it from the outside made it seem so fantastic that it happened rather than looking back and feeling bad about not being there anymore."
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Magnussen enjoyed watching the 2021 F1 season
Along with his own racing duties in 2021, Magnussen was a contributor to Danish F1 broadcaster TV3.
Having been in F1 since 2014, Magnussen admitted that he had some trepidation about commenting on the sport as an outside observer, when he could still have been racing had circumstances been different.
"I did some TV stuff for the Danish TV F1 broadcaster and I did enjoy that," he explained.
"I had these thoughts, 'I wonder how it's gonna feel to be talking about this from the outside and not being one of the drivers?'
"But it was fine. I felt really good about it and I enjoyed the season – it was an awesome season.
"I enjoyed watching F1 from the outside as a fan, because I am a fan of F1, and it made me appreciate the sport from that perspective."
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