Eric Boullier has said he is often speaking to Kevin Magnussen in his opening few races, “trying to lock him in a room at least once a weekend”.
Magnussen had a very impressive debut for McLaren at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing third before being promoted to second following Daniel Ricciardo's exclusion. However, the Malaysian Grand Prix was more difficult as Magnussen hit Kimi Raikkonen early in the race, damaging his front wing and being limited to a ninth-place finish.
With Boullier having managed Romain Grosjean during his first two full seasons in F1, he said he is keeping a close eye on how Magnussen progresses.
“I just picked him up now but I'm obviously being very careful with him,” Boullier said. “At least once each race weekend we definitely have a long chat together. I'm monitoring very carefully his state of mind, the way he behaves and I'm watching him a lot like I was doing with Romain and some others. I'm trying to lock him in a room at least once a weekend to make sure he's OK.
“Ten minutes; we sat down twice this weekend for maybe ten minutes and that's enough. He's very open-minded so everything I tell him – like advice, let's say – he is listening.”
And Boullier said he has been impressed with the way Magnussen has been so calm during his first two races despite contrasting results.
“He keeps the same level. After he touched with Raikkonen, he didn't overreact, there was nothing wrong. He just kept his foot down, we were explaining what he could do, explaining the strategy to get [Daniil] Kvyat and make sure we got in the points and he just did it.”
Boullier also warned against expecting too much from Magnussen this year, pointing to the lack of testing he was able to get in before racing for McLaren.
“He's one of these young kids over the last couple of years who joined Formula One without any experience. We tend to forget that guys like Lewis [Hamilton] did 30,000 miles of testing – 30,000 miles – so still it was a couple of seasons. This kid is 21, he's just joined Formula One and has about two days of testing. So he's doing a great job.”