Therefore, Dennis beat out Whitmarsh even though the latter had verbally offered Perez a McLaren drive for the 2014 season. Chico duly sought refuge and found refuge at Force India. It was humiliating for Martin, whom I loved and with whom I worked again at Aston Martin in 2021 and 2022, but it was clear that Ron wanted to take back control of his train group and was not going to be crossed. In January 2014, Whitmarsh resigned, and Dennis immediately reinstated himself as CEO, appointing no one as team principal but appointing Eric Boullier as race director. Magnussen then drove admirably in the first Grand Prix of the year, in Melbourne, his Formula 1 debut, where he qualified fourth and finished third on the road, which became second after Daniel Ricciardo was disqualified for fuel flow irregularities. Between Red Bull and Renault.
Since then, Kevin has driven a further 162 races in Formula 1, starting on pole once and setting fastest laps twice, but never again standing on the podium in Formula 1. The most competitive Formula 1 car he ever raced in was a McLaren 2014, which was adequate at best. Since then, he has competed in one season in Formula 1 for Renault and six for Haas, and has never before been in a car that could actually warrant a positive description of 'proper'. Does he still have what it takes? Can he still shine as he did in Abu Dhabi in 2012, in Hungary in 2013 or in Australia in 2014 if he finds himself, after a long wait, in a race-winning Formula 1 car? My answer to this question is yes, I have seen him perform miracles in race cars in the past, but I admit I am biased, because over the years he has become a worthy companion. He attended my wedding in Soho (London) in 2015. He and his wife Lulu have stayed at my house and my husband's at Angel's Earlsfield (also London) often. We've dined together dozens of times all over the world. I've visited him not only in Copenhagen but also in the less touristy parts of his favorite country of Denmark, once driving him in the middle of the night from Aarhus to Copenhagen in a Honda Civic Type R, a trip like a big prize not just in terms of distance ( 190 miles [307km]) but also in terms of skill and commitment. Even though he had never met my mother, he cried in front of me when I told him in July 2013 that she had died of cancer. And when, five years after we stopped working together, I told him I had written a novel (Boy made the difference; (2020) and that all proceeds would go to charity, to which he replied: “Well done, my friend, but I will never read it, because I have never read a novel in English before, you know that, right?”
I knew that already, and it didn't bother me at all. Some people like to read fiction. Others don't. Very few F1 drivers do that. Fewer still enjoy it when the prose is written in a language other than their mother tongue. However, Kevin bought 50 copies, simply so he could donate £500 to my charity, the Bernardine Bishop Appeal, which I set up in memory of my mother and which raises funds for CLIC Sargent, a wonderful charity which has since been renamed Young's. Life versus cancer. Heaven knows what he did to them all. (Boy made the difference It's still available on Amazon, by the way, and through other sellers as well, if you're interested.)
Kevin Magnussen is a dear friend, I'd say, and a good guy too. He is a loving husband and father. He is a very experienced Formula 1 driver, extremely physically fit, and his battle scars have made him not only wiser, but also smarter than he was before; However, he is still only in his early thirties. He is almost as integral to the Haas team as Max Verstappen is to Red Bull. Maybe it would be more compassionate. He could still win Grand Prix, and even Formula 1 World Championships, if given the right opportunity. Unfortunately, it is almost certain that this will not happen.