Magnussen hails 'real race cars' in IMSA after soulless F1 'aeroplane'

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Kevin Magnussen has praised the "real race cars" of IMSA compared to Formula 1's soulless "aeroplane".

As this is being written, the Dane is competing in the Daytona 24 Hours, his first race since being dropped by Haas after four seasons at the end of 2020.

Before heading to the speedway, however, Magnussen got his first taste of the Chip Ganassi-run Cadillac DPi-V.R prototype in testing and was immediately greeted by an atmosphere he feels F1 no longer has.

“The sound, the smells and the looks, the aesthetics of the car, I think Americans have got that as such an integrated part of the sport, and I think I’ve just missed that and I didn’t realise how much I missed it," The Race quoted him as telling Marshall Pruett's podcast.

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“It’s been awesome to drive a real race car again – I really think I’ve been driving an aeroplane, basically, for the last six-seven years.

“Which is awesome, driving a Formula 1 car is awesome, it’s got a lot of grip and a lot of power, it is great fun – but it lacks a little bit of, like, soul.

“I don’t know how to put it. There’s something missing. F1 used to have that more, I think lately they’ve lost a bit of that – so coming back and driving a car like this, the Cadillac DPi, it’s been a real kind of eye-opener.”

Not only did the car instantly grab Magnussen's attention, but also the track, as IMSA tested on part of the famed Sebring circuit.

“This is my kind of racing, I really like the challenge of these super-bumpy tracks that have inconsistent kerbs, you know – in F1 you get used to these spec kerbs, that are used everywhere, every track you come to, it’s exactly the same kerb that the FIA put in everywhere," he noted.

“All the tracks become, like, the same and the character gets lost a little bit. I think when you come here, at Sebring, there’s no track that has character like this one.”

Currently, Magnussen's car is leading the race outright, and after years stuck in the F1 midfield, simply having the chance to win in enthusing the 28-year-old.

"Chip Ganassi Racing is a hugely successful team in many different race series, a team that has a lot of experience and success in this category," he said.

"Just the thought of being able to look forward to a season where I know I have a chance of winning is just a really good feeling and I am looking forward to it

"I think racing in America, my dad has been racing in America for 20 years and I have been watching him at many races and always enjoyed the atmosphere and been very curious about these tracks because they are amazing tracks.

"I am really looking forward to it."