In an interview with Danish outlet BT, former Haas driver Kevin Magnussen revealed that he had talks with Red Bull for a potential seat for the 2019 Formula 1 season. Magnussen, who is currently racing in the WeatherTech Sportscar Championship in the United States, was let go by Haas following the end of the 2020 campaign. The Danish driver raced for the American team for four years between 2017 and 2020.
Kevin Magnussen's talks with Red Bull
However, Magnussen could have had a different career path had the talks with Red Bull worked out. The Dane revealed he had talks with the energy drink company's team after Daniel Ricciardo left Red Bull for Renault for the 2019 season.
According to Magnussen, Red Bull had already selected Pierre Gasly as the Australian's replacement. However, there was an open seat at Toro Rosso (now named AlphaTauri).
Speaking to BT, the Dane said:
''When we spoke to them it quickly became clear that they already had a candidate for the seat at Red Bull. However, they did talk about a possibility at Toro Rosso. They haven't made me a contract proposal yet, but it was clearly an option''
Despite a chance to join the Red Bull family, Magnussen decided to stay loyal to Haas. The Dane had a brilliant 2018 season, narrowly finishing 5th behind Renault in the constructors' standings. For most of the season, Haas were the fourth-best team on the grid. However, a disastrous season-opener at the 2018 Australian Grand Prix became the difference between fourth and fifth on the table. Haas had their cars running in P5 and P6 at Albert Park, however, both cars suffered from terrible pit stops which led the team to retire from the race.
Speaking about his decision not to join the Red Bull family, Magnussen said:
"However, we chose not to take this opportunity because I felt very good at Haas and I believed that we would be able to continue the upward trend we had started like in 2018.''
Red Bull then chose Thai-British driver Alex Albon for the vacant Toro Rosso seat. Albon was later promoted to the Red Bull seat midway through the 2019 season after disastrous performances by Gasly. Magnussen's career could have been very different today, and perhaps he would still be in the sport.
However, Haas never displayed the same pace following the 2018 season, and after two years of struggling as backmarkers, team principal Guenther Steiner released both drivers in favor of two rookies for the 2021 season.