Kevin Magnussen “has world champion potential” according to his McLaren boss Ron Dennis, after the rookie finished second in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The young Dane crossed the line third but after Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion inherited second place, delivering one of the most impressive displays of driving by a Formula 1 debutant in recent memory.
Dennis said afterwards, “Magnussen has all the ingredients necessary to win a World Championship, although he has to be in a competitive car.”
He added, “It’s only one race and we’ll see where he is after four, but I don’t have any concerns about his temperament, focus or commitment, and he is prepared to make whatever sacrifices are necessary.”
In the mid-nineties Kevin’s father Jan Magnussen, who also made his F1 debut for McLaren, was hailed as the next Senna, but ultimately failed to make the grade. Dennis famously referred to him as “the most disorganised grand prix driver I’ve ever known.”
After the Albert Park podium ceremony Dennis told his team’s newest star, “A very wise old man went into his house and nailed to the ceiling was a pair of shoes. I asked what they were for, and he said they were his son’s shoes. Every time he sees them it reminds him to keep his feet on the ground. I will put some in your hotel room.” (GP247)
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