Button: Massive risk for Magnussen to be put in the deep end with a team like McLaren

Kevin Magnussen's life is set to change dramatically

Kevin Magnussen’s life is set to change dramatically

Kevin Magnussen will be thrown into the Formula 1 ‘deep end’ when he replaces Sergio Perez at McLaren next season and it will be up to the young Dane whether he sinks or swims, future team mate Jenson Button said on Thursday.

“It’s one of those positions where it could light up your career or put an end to your career very early if things don’t go well,” Button told reporters ahead of this weekend’s U.S. Grand Prix.

“It’s a massive risk to be put in the deep end, if you like, with a team that should be fighting for a title.

“But if a driver is willing to take that risk, he has a lot of confidence in himself and his ability.

“It could go one way or another and I hope it goes the positive way,” said the 2009 World Champion, who made his debut as a 20-year-old with Williams in 2000.

Jenson Button and Sergio Perez partnership is about to end

Jenson Button and Sergio Perez partnership is about to end

The 21-year-old Dane is the son of former McLaren and Stewart racer Jan Magnussen and will be the first rookie to make his F1 debut with McLaren since Britain’s Lewis Hamilton in 2007.

He steps into the seat vacated by Mexican Perez amid high praise and even higher expectations.

If Magnussen has any doubts about what is expected of him then he need only consider the fate of Perez, a once highly touted prospect who has been jettisoned by the former Champions after just one disappointing season.

The F1 starting grid is a shark tank and the 33-year-old Button, who has been in F1 the longest of the drivers currently in the sport, knows better than to get too attached to team mates.

Button said farewell to Hamilton, the 2008 Champion, last year and will now be on his third different team mate at McLaren.

Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will be teammates at McLaren in 2014

Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen will be teammates at McLaren in 2014

“It’s always sad to see a team mate leave,” said Button. “I have never really been that close to my team mates but still you spend a whole season with someone who goes through the same highs and lows that you do.

“It’s the same as the end of last year. You build a relationship with a team mate, you learn a lot about each other, gain experience and then things change.

“It’s a little bit tough initially but you learn to adapt as we all do in life.”

Magnussen has shown all the signs of being a quick learner as well as quick on the track. Button is not about to become anyone’s nursemaid.

“If he’s willing to learn from the go and pick things up,  “I’m sure he’s going to learn from me, I’ve been in this sport for 13 years but you also learn things from young drivers.

Kevin Magnussen is the 2013 Formula 1 Renault 2.5 champion

Kevin Magnussen is the 2013 Formula 1 Renault 2.5 champion

“We’ve seen his speed in other Formulas and I think the team has been impressed with his speed in the test that he has done.

“The bit for me that is more important is feedback but I’ve heard his feedback is very good from those tests, which is good that I can believe and trust his feedback.”

After a brutally disappointing campaign that has seen McLaren finish no higher than fifth in 17 races so far, the team will be looking for a big bounce back next season when there are major changes and a new V6 engine.

“I’ve said all year that it’s important to have a team mate, especially with the new regulations, that has experience,” said Button.

“Kevin doesn’t have that but his outright speed is very good and the bit that is more important to me is, from the testing he has done in a Formula 1 car, his feedback has been very good which has to be very important at the start of the year.” (Reuters)

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  • Kimi4WDC

    Grats Kevin!

    2014 looking good! Magnussen, Kvyat and Kimi to support!

  • Me 2

    I feel sorry for Perez.

  • Ter

    Call me an adult man as opposed to a teen boy, but I just cant get myself to cheer for a 14 year old F1 driver. At leat thats what Magnussen looks, it’s a young child/boy. Atleast Checo had charisma.

  • Spartacus

    It’s certainly going in to the deep end. Most rookies would sink, but expectations were raised after Hamilton. What he did in his first year was simply amazing.

    Can Magnussen do the same? I hope so, but we’ve got to allow for him being a rookie and unless he’s a complete disaster (which I doubt he will be) he’s got to be given at least two years at McLaren.

    Perez had behind him a couple of seasons before McLaren and may still have an F1 future, but probably not at the front of the grid. I think he’s not shown enough speed for that, although he does bring the cars home.

  • Michael Crichton

    Jensen Button – I hope he enjoys his last year in Formula 1 in 2014. Grumpy old man.

    Does he reckon it would be better for Magnussen to start at a Caterham or Marussia? Get real. Look what Lewis Hamilton did in his rookie year at McLaren.

    By all accounts this new guy is going to wipe the floor with JB and by releasing statements like this shows that JB is scared.

  • Spartacus

    (top picture) – November 2013
    Kevin: I do hope my hair is short enough.

    (second picture) – January 2013
    Jenson: Checo, you better cut your hair or I will tell Mertin to axe you in November
    Checo: But I like my Mexican mullet…

  • Andreas Fristoft

    I think the one who is going to be in the deep water, will be Jenson. Just give Magnussen 5-6 races and he will be in the front of Jenson from that point. So enjoy you last season at Mclaren Jenson !

  • bobw

    I don’t see the danger. The cars perform like they have training wheels on them and Jenny might have to start performing again himself.

  • ZombieJebus

    Remember these comments when Magnussen smokes JB next year.