13 January 2014
Paffett: Magnussen will keep Button on his toes
Gary Paffett backs new McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen to keep experienced team-mate Jenson Button on his toes when he joins the F1 grid this season
McLaren test driver Gary Paffett says he is sure that new signing Kevin Magnussen will help to get the best out of Jenson Button when the 2014 F1 season gets underway.
Magnussen will move into F1 for the first time having been signed to replace Sergio Perez on the back of a fine 2013 campaign, where he took the Formula Renault 3.5 title ahead of fellow McLaren development driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Big things are expected of the young Dane when the new season gets underway and Paffett said everyone involved with McLaren was excited to see what he can do on track.
“There are very few young drivers that teams have brought through to put in a top team - I think Lewis Hamilton and probably Sebastian Vettel are the last two real examples of real young drivers that people have put into cars,” he told Sky Sports F1. "So I think there is a lot of excitement around Kevin, he has shown in testing that he is very quick - he is very fast.
“He has shown that in the last two years in World Series that were both very different - in 2012 he was quick, but had a lot of problems, was a bit erratic and a had some incidents which compromised his season a lot, but last year in 2013 he improved so much as a driver and won the championship - so he has shown that he is quick and that he can change his driving style to get the most out of the car.
"I think we are all at the team very excited to see how he gets on and really hoping he can push Jenson really hard and get the best out of Jenson as well."
Paffett, who is set to continue in his test role with the Woking-based team for another season, added that it was important for the 21-year-old not to get too carried away with his expectations for 2014 but said the advent of new regulations could work in his favour.
"I think with the massive regulation change, all of the drivers that are already there have still got to relearn a few things with how to drive these new cars and how to adjust to them, whereas he hasn't got anything to relearn, he is just getting into his first his first Formula 1 car and that is all he really knows,” the Briton said. “He has done some testing, but fairly limited, so it is a bit of a fresh start for all the drivers, but he is still inexperienced in F1 so he is still going to have to learn a lot.
"For a young driver coming into F1, you want to be competitive so you want to have some good results, but consistent results weekend after weekend is what he will want to do, but maybe that is a bit unrealistic. But he is going to want to be competitive against Jenson, so it really depends on how good the car is - I think if you ask Lewis Hamilton what his goals were for 2007 it was probably to have some good results and he nearly ended up winning the championship - so I think it is a similar situation, you have to be open minded.
"You can't go in thinking 'I am going to win the championship,' but you can't go in thinking 'I've got no chance,' you just have to do your best and see how it goes."
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