Australian Grand Prix ruined Kevin Magnussen’s IndyCar chances

F1i 1/04/2015
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Kevin Magnussen beleives his call-up curtailed his chances of racing in IndyCar this season.

Kevin Magnussen says his call-up to replace Fernando Alonso at the Australian Grand Prix ended his hopes of racing in IndyCar this year.

– #Quiz360: WIN a group paintball session at Zayed Sports City

– Fernando Alonso's premature Ferrari dismissal

Having been demoted to reserve driver this season, Magnussen was keen to race elsewhere alongside his McLaren duties and was in talks about an IndyCar switch if the schedule would allow. However, with Alonso’s pre-season testing crash ruling him out of the opening race of the year, Magnussen stepped in to the car but had to end negotiations about a switch to the US as a result.

“We were looking at IndyCar and trying to get an Indy drive but always with Formula One as the first priority and still with the plan of being test and reserve driver for McLaren,” Magnussen said. “When I stepped in for Fernando in Australia that wasn't possible anymore so we just dropped it.

Kevin Magnussen drives onto the grass during the qualifying round for the Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.

“Now I’m only planning to just do this and you never know what can come up during the year. For the moment the only thing that’s certain is that I’m going to be at the races.”

And Magnussen says his long-term ambitions give him enough motivation for the year despite not being able to race in another series.

“I’d prefer to be racing. I’d love to be racing but I have a vision, I have a goal and a plan, so it’s not too bad. Of course it’s a bit boring and frustrating at the moment, but as long as you have something to look forward to and a plan and a vision then it helps and you have something to look forward to.”

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Fernando Alonso’s premature Ferrari dismissal

F1i 1/04/2015
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Writing Ferrari off: Fernando Alonso.

Fernando Alonso prematurely dismissed Ferrari’s chances of success during the Malaysian Grand Prix weekend when questioned over his McLaren move.

– #Quiz360: WIN a group paintball session at Zayed Sports City

– Fernando Alonso blames steering for testing crash

The Spaniard left Ferrari at the end of last season – before the end of his contract – in order to chase a title with McLaren-Honda.

While the return of Honda has been a difficult one so far, Ferrari has started the season encouragingly.

After Sebastian Vettel qualified second on the grid and Alonso 18th in Malaysia, Alonso was asked on Saturday evening about his feelings to be qualifying at the back while the car he had vacated lined up on the front row, but was dismissive of the result.

“I want to be on pole position, not second,” Alonso said. “So I think it’s a long way to go for us. 

"We start now quite far behind but I have so much trust and confidence in this team.

"We have such a talented team of engineers inside McLaren and we saw the progress in the last two weeks.

“To beat Mercedes to do something special, not to copy them or to follow them because if not then you will be behind all the time.”

In the race, Vettel then went on to outpace the Mercedes to deliver a shock first win for Ferrari since Alonso took victory in the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.

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Alarm bells will ring at Mercedes – Niki Lauda

F1i 1/04/2015
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Wake-up call: Mercedes' Niki Lauda (r) and Lewis Hamilton.

Niki Lauda admits Mercedes will react to the alarm bells of Ferrari’s victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

– #Quiz360: WIN a group paintball session at Zayed Sports City

– Formula One: Mercedes chief Toto Wolff surprised at early Ferrari performance

– Formula One: Upturn in fortunes puts spring in Ferrari step

Mercedes was beaten on outright pace for the first time since the start of the 2014 season by Sebastian Vettel on Sunday, with the German taking victory from Lewis Hamilton by over eight seconds.

Lauda believes Mercedes was beaten by the better team at Sepang but says it will not panic having been so dominant previously.

“It’s normal in sport when these things happen and you don’t win every race that the bell rings,” Lauda said. 

“The bell will ring loud and we all will hear it and we will react to it, which is normal. But nevertheless we were second and third and we won the last race, so the world is not finished yet after one Vettel victory. But nevertheless they were better.”

And Lauda says it’s good for Formula One that Vettel secured his first victory for Ferrari, hinting he feels the four-time world champion has been under appreciated in the past.

“I went to [Maurizio] Arrivabene straight away and I congratulated him from my heart.

"He is competition and the more competition the better, and if Ferrari wins Bernie [Ecclestone] can’t complain about boring Vettel because Vettel is not boring anymore.

"It’s very good this result for the total image of F1, because some people are always complaining.”

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