Kevin Magnussen has called on McLaren to try and outdevelop its rivals over the coming races.
An impressive debut from Magnussen saw him finish second in Australia, and with team-mate Jenson Button coming home third McLaren leads the constructors' championship. Neither driver was able to challenge Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes, but with the MP4-29 running reliably in Melbourne, Magnussen has challenged the team to improve the car at a quicker rate than the likes of Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams.
“There's been no chance for a break since our encouraging result in Australia,” Magnussen said. “Jenson and I both went back to Europe and spent a couple of days at the MTC to assess our performance in Melbourne and to work on our preparations for Malaysia.
“Equally, the designers and engineers have been working hard. We showed in Australia that we can score good points if our car is reliable, and we need to consolidate that over the next few races – and one of the ways to do that is to make sure that we're bringing new parts to the track as fast as, if not faster, than our chief rivals.”
Looking ahead to this weekend's race in Malaysia, Magnussen admits he expects to have a harder weekend than he faced in Australia and was keen to emphasise that he will be gaining experience at each race.
“Sepang is a very different type of track from Albert Park: Melbourne was all about slow-speed corners and mechanical balance, whereas Malaysia is a real high-speed circuit, the corners are much faster and there'll be more of an emphasis on aerodynamic performance.
“I think it'll be a tougher test than Australia – the ambient temperatures will make it tougher for the drivers; and the track temperatures will be higher too, which will make it harder on the tyres. My aim will be to score more points – consistency is going to be very important for the championship – and to keep learning, especially in such a different environment.
“I'm really looking forward to it – the car feels fantastic to drive, and I hope we'll have another good weekend.”