McLaren Sporting Director Eric Boullier does not believe that having rookie Kevin Magnussen is hampering the team, although the Frenchman admits that the young Dane is facing what he calls the ‘rookie syndrome’.
Speaking to members of the media during a McLaren phone-in, Boullier said, “Kevin is facing the rookie syndrome: they are all coming from single-make series. Where they struggle most is to understand that the cars . . . [have to be] developed to give you certain results. If you don’t have the best car you can’t fight for the win.”
Boullier does not believe that having an inexperienced driver is hampering McLaren’s progress, “I don’t think it is more challenging to have a rookie driver rather than two experienced drivers, let’s say.”
“When you have somebody more experienced like Jenson [Button] you get more details, and you get to dig through more problems to find solutions. [But] the kids now, especially kids like Kevin, can do most of the jobs and offer enough feedback to lead or to at least answer some questions from the engineering team,” revealed Boullier.
Magnussen started the season with a bang, with a second place podium at the season opener in Melbourne but like his teammate Button, whom he trails by a mere two points, he is severely hampered by the woeful McLaren MP4-29 which has done the pair no favours.
Boullier insisted, “The rest is fine to be honest: he is settling in well, he is very consistent, and his feedback is good enough to drive the engineering team around him to make the car faster, so he is doing very well for a rookie.” (GP247)