McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen is enjoying a perfect induction into Formula 1, impressing each time he does stints in the MP4-29 and showing a handy turn of speed in the process, while enjoying every moment of his rookie days.
Speaking after setting the fastest lap on the second day of testing in Bahrain, Magnussen revealed, “It’s a dream every time I get in the car. It’s just so cool to be here and to be driving. I’m really enjoying it.”
Teething problems with the all new Power Units have affected all the teams, and the Dane had his share on Thursday, “Unfortunately, we didn’t get too many laps done this morning, but it was good to get some laps done at the end of the day. The afternoon was good for us, and we worked through our problems.”
After he set a lap time [Thursday] that compared favourably with last year’s qualifyng times, Magnussen and, in fact, the Formula 1 world is starting to warm to the new turbo era.
Magnussen revealed, “It really is a drivers’ car – more than the old ones. With the blown diffuser [on previous generation cars] it became a little bit easy and on new tyres you were very much relying on the car and the setup and the balance. This year it’s more of a drivers’ car and I think that’s great.”
“It’s still going to be impossible to win in a car that is not able to win, but it’s Formula 1 and it’s man and machine and the drivers can make a bigger difference. It’s a bit more difficult with more torque but I think that’s quite obvious. With more torque it’s going to be more tricky and you need more skill and sensitivity with the throttle,” ventured the McLaren rookie.
Magnussen’s best time of 1.34.910 was 2.5 seconds down on pole in Bahrain last year, and this in only the sixth day of real world running for the new Power Units suggests that there is still a lot more in them. But this did not come as a big surprise to the rookie.
“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised. I think we will go quicker than that and it’s possible to go quicker than that. It won’t take too long for this year’s cars to be quicker than the old ones. From now until Australia we will hopefully improve the car. We are in a good place but we still need to work very hard. But it’s not looking too bad.”
Magnussen has now spent four days in the McLaren and each time has impressed. He looks to be fast building a legion of fans who no doubt will be cheering for the 21 year old when he makes his grand prix debut in Melbourne on 16 March. (GP247)
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