Speculating that it would be good to introduce Magnussen into F1 in a junior team in 2014, Whitmarsh explained why he wasn't keen on thrusting young inexperienced drivers straight into the spotlight in a high-profile team such as McLaren.
"There's a tremendous amount of expectation and pressure about being a McLaren driver," he said. "I know we've had exceptions but generally we don't have rookies in the car and we develop drivers for the long term.
"F1 hasn't been good at developing drivers," he pointed out. "At the moment we have some really interesting programs but they are a few years probably away from having an impact on this particular team."