Son of former F1 driver, Jan Magnussen, Kevin began racing from a young age. He stunned on his F1 debut, the first driver since Hamilton to win at his first race. However, he lost his drive at McLaren to Alonso in 2015 but returned with Renault in 2016.
Like most F1 drivers, Magnussen began racing in karts, moving up to Formula Ford in 2008. He Won the Danish series in his debut season and then the following season, he competed in Formula Renault 2.0 Euroseries and Formula Renault 2.0, finishing 7th and 2nd in those series.
He competed in German Formula 3 in 2010, finishing 3rd overall. He was top rookie and claimed 3 wins. Moving to British Formula 3 the next year, Magnussen was runner up with 7 wins and 9 podiums. In 2011, he became part of the McLaren driver development programme and took part in the F1 young driver test in Abu Dhabi. During the season, he competed in Renault 3.5 and finished 7th in the championship taking a single win.
Having won the 2013 Renault 3.5 championship, Magnussen progressed to Formula One the following year, for McLaren. In his first race, he finished 2nd becoming the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to finish on the podium on his F1 debut. Despite a very strong season, he was replaced by Alonso for the following year.
In 2015, he was McLaren reserve driver and competed in the opening race of the season, after Alonso’s crash in testing. However, in October 2015 he left the team. Despite discussions with the Haas team, Magnussen failed to find a drive for 2016 until Maldonado was confirmed to leave Renault. On 3rd February, the team announced that Kevin Magnussen would race alongside Palmer for 2016.