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Magnussen shares regrets from early F1 career: I had the wrong mindset

The Haas driver has reflected upon his rookie year and noticed big differences to today's crop of rookies.

Kevin Magnussen says he wishes "people had prepared me more" for the demands of entering Formula 1 as a rookie driver in 2014. The Dane was partnered with Jenson Button at McLaren back in 2014 - scoring a P2 on his debut at the Australian Grand Prix - although results were hard to come by thereafter and he was dropped for the '15 season. Since then, Magnussen has become one of the elder drivers on the grid and a staple of the midfield, but did claim a shock pole position for Haas at the 2022 Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

Magnussen's regret

"I wish I had a better mindset and that people had prepared me a little more," he told media, including RacingNews365 . "Maybe [they should have] told me there were the highest expectations from the team, and I was surprised by Ron Dennis, and McLaren was a different team. "When I got to McLaren, it would be the equivalent of getting a Mercedes now: they've been winning and fighting for championships. "I always expected to do that, so I knew the expectation was to win, and when McLaren started to struggle, I just felt that pressure too much. "If I had gotten into Formula 1 with Force India, which was a close call, it would have been different, maybe I would have adjusted and said: 'Okay, I need to finish in the points.' It was just hard being a McLaren driver. "I really struggled with it and lost a lot of confidence. "I just found myself in a new space, when you know you can't win and you'll have that feeling so bad that you need to be winning, otherwise, it's not good enough. So I couldn't adjust. "If I was fifth, I would be depressed. Today I would be over the moon. So I was always frustrated and always just not in the right mindset."

Pole greater than podium

When asked what was the better moment of his career out of the podium or the pole position, Magnussen was clear. "The pole was bigger, in 2014, when I came in, I didn't know what to expect," he said. "But I actually expected to get on the podium, because I didn't know any better, I kind of expected to win, if I'm honest. "But in my junior career, that was always the case, you could be winning, every race you were going for the win, getting pole positions, and championships and when I got to Formula 1, I was just in that same mindset. "Then reality hit after the first race, which made the first race not so special as it was kind of expected. "If it came now, it would be crazy and I would be much happier now than back then."

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