18 September 2014
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Magnussen ready to race hard for McLaren future
F1 rookie Kevin Magnussen says he's been boosted by team management telling him not to change his style despite successive races being marred by penalties.
F1 rookie Kevin Magnussen may still be learning the ropes but says he knows one thing already – that he wants to be a part of McLaren's future.
The Dane is not yet confirmed for 2015 and, while the F1 grapevine now suggests both he and current team-mate Jenson Button are more likely to be retained by the Woking squad than kicked to the kerb, he insists that that the only way he can be sure of achieving his goal is by delivering on track.
Magnussen lies twelfth overall heading to Singapore this weekend, and has scored just once in the last three races, but is optimistic that, with McLaren continuing to bring updates to its MP4-29, things could take a turn for the better over the remaining six races of the year.
“I will look at it after the weekend and see what we had,” he said ahead of practice, “I'm happy that were bringing parts to the car that are supposed to deliver performance, but I'll take it as it comes and see what we get. The most important thing is to put it on the car, see how it reacts, explore it and get the most out of it. We'll see what we get, but it's fairly positive. It's nice that new bits are going on the car.”
Having already espoused the mantra that you never stop learning, Magnussen admitted that he was slowly regaining the confidence that took him to last year's Renault 3.5 title but which took a knock after poor results were compounded by a couple of penalties that robbed him of good points in both Belgium and Italy.
While he insists that the Monza punishment had been a little harsh, the Dane accepts that the Spa incident, where he pushed double world champion Fernando Alonso onto the grass along the Kemmel straight had given him food for thought.
“I shouldn't repeat what I did in Spa because that was a mistake and I should learn from that,” he noted, “I think it's good to have racing - I enjoy racing - and obviously I'm going to carry on like that. Obviously, I'm going to try and learn from what has happened, but it's important that I try my best and get everything out of what we have now - and that requires me to race hard at the moment.”
Both Eric Boullier and team CEO Ron Dennis have backed the rookie to continue racing hard, which has, in turn, given him the confidence to believe that he can be a part of McLaren in the longer term.
“I think McLaren has a great future ahead of them,” he insisted, “There are a few things are already in place and I really, really want to be a part of that future. All I can do is my best.
“Everyone in this team is in the same position - you have to do your best and you have to deliver as that's what F1 is about. Ron is not a guy who, when he talks to you, talks b*llsh*t. He just said not to change and wanted me to know that I should stay like that and keep fighting. You need that when you get to F1, because it's such a big step up and you don't want to make a wrong step or do something wrong. It takes a little time to get that confidence back but I feel that I've really got that confidence back to race hard again.
“I've always raced hard in everything I've raced, but you get to F1 and you back off a little bit just to find your way around, so it's nice to know that you're doing well and what you're doing is right.”
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