19 September 2014
F1 Singapore Grand Prix: McLaren only focused on self, not rivals
With work to do evaluating its latest update for the MP4-29, McLaren is looking inwardly after opening practice for the Singapore F1 Grand Prix.
McLaren is not setting its sights on Force India or any other rival in particular at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix, according to Kevin Magnussen.
The Woking team is just a point clear of its Silverstone-based rival heading to Marina Bay, and Magnussen and team-mate Jenson Button proved very closely matched with the two Force India drivers on day one of practice, but the Danish rookie insists that the focus remains solely on developing the latest update to the MP4-29.
Both Magnussen and Button worked on aero evaluation programmes during the two 90-minute sessions, looking to understand and measure the effectiveness of a suite of new components introduced for this weekend. Although neither driver was completely satisfied with the results, the data was more positive, giving the team food for thought overnight.
“It's difficult to say [if the timesheets were representative],” Magnussen commented, “We need to work on a few more things and see what we've got tomorrow. We're still trying to evaluate and get the best out of the [upgrade], so we'll give it a good look tonight and see what we can get out of it tomorrow.
Button, who missed a first quick run in opening practice due to the aero work, confirmed that he was far from satisfied with the way his car had performed, but remained optimistic that gains would be made ahead of qualifying.
“Considering that we're nowhere near where we want to be with the car, it's not too bad,” he admitted, “We tried a few things this afternoon which didn't work for us, so at least we know what to do for tomorrow. Considering that, it's not too bad compared to the other people around us, but there's a lot of work to do overnight. There's a lot of information that we took from aero runs and set-up [work], so hopefully we can improve a lot for tomorrow.
The evening session was more positive for both drivers as the McLaren, contrary to type, ran well on the markedly faster option tyre, allowing Magnussen to claim sixth spot on the timesheets, one ahead of his team-mate and with both Force Indias behind the Briton.
“We're not that focused on Force India, we're not really focused on anyone at the moment,” Magnussen insisted, “Of course, we need to finish ahead of Force India in the constructors' championship but, at the moment, we're focusing on getting the best out of the parts that we're bringing to the car.
“As long as we are putting new parts on the car and making improvements, then I think we should be positive. We have done that this weekend and we need to make sure we get everything out of it.”
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