10 February 2014
'There's no need to panic' ahead of F1 debut - Magnussen
McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen says he is focused on being as prepared as possible for his grand prix debut in Melbourne but admits his learning time is limited
Kevin Magnussen says he's trying to use his pre-season to feel as prepared as possible for his grand prix debut in Australia.
McLaren opted for Magnussen ahead of Sergio Perez for 2014, the first time it has given a race seat to a rookie since Lewis Hamilton in 2007. In Hamilton's case he had unlimited testing mileage available to him before his first race, but Magnussen is faced with just six days in the MP4-29 before reaching Melbourne.
However, despite the daunting task ahead of his F1 debut, Magnussen says he is trying to make sure he is as prepared as possible come Melbourne and acknowledges he won't be able to learn everything by that time.
“It's about focusing on what's possible and what's achievable,” Magnussen told the official Formula One website. “There's no need to panic; no, I just need to keep making progress with the team and the car, to use my time productively, and to make sure I arrive in Melbourne feeling as well prepared as it's possible to be.
“Naturally, you can never be too well prepared - there's always something more you can do - but, at some point, you need to stop practising and start racing. One of the things Jenson (Button) has told me is that he never stops learning. He's driven nearly 250 Grands Prix, so it's quite inspiring to hear him say that. I can definitely learn from Jenson, and, like him, I hope to keep learning.”
Describing the early relationship with his new team-mate, Magnussen said Button's feedback at the first test in Jerez had impressed him.
“We haven't spent that much time together over the winter, but this is the time of year when we're really starting to work closely together. Obviously, we were together at the MTC on the day the car was launched, doing interviews and photo shoots for the McLaren website and so on, and we spent time together at the test in Jerez, where we did a lot of work with our engineers to give them the best possible feedback on the car.
“The engineers really benefit from having two sources of driver information. Jenson's feedback is always very impressive, really rich, and it was great to have him on the other side of the table, giving the engineers really deep information. Jenson is a fantastic guy, a great driver, and a real ambassador for McLaren and for Formula One. I'm really looking forward to working alongside him in 2014.”
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