Next Senna to sportscars next-door
- Mattijs Diepraam
- 8W July 1998 issue, offers are kindly accepted to extend the length of this article!
Jan Magnussen, Rubens Barrichello
McLaren-Mercedes MP4/10B, Jordan-Peugeot 195
Aida (TI Circuit)
1995 Pacific GP
Being a mercurial F3 talent doesn't always guarantee you F1 success.
Jan Magnussen's motorsport godfather Jackie Stewart prophecized a great future for the often lazy Dane, who by his God-given talent alone thrashed the opposition in the 1994 British F3 Championship, in the process beating Ayrton Senna's already impressive tally of wins during a single British F3 season (12 wins out of 17).
But after that the Junior programme which Mercedes had planned for him (and which had worked out so well for Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen) slipped away from under his own feet. His Mercedes-directed move to big high-tech German touring cars didn't fit his natural skills, and a half-season at Marlboro Penske replacing Emerson Fittipaldi was too short to get used to heavy Indycars.
As the 1995 McLaren test driver he got one opportunity in the terrible mid-winged MP4/10B and performed as expected, finishing 10th, just behind team mate Blundell - a solid job, no more, no less. By the way, this is perhaps the only time Jan was ever ahead of Rubens Barrichello...