Kevin Magnussen admits that he has already discounted the possibility of returning to the podium at Albert Park on Sunday.

The Dane created a stir by finishing in the top three on his F1 debut twelve months ago but concedes that, after a tough winter of testing, McLaren is unlikely to be able to put him position to repeat the feat this weekend.

"I'd say [expectations] are quite low," he confessed, "We're struggling with reliability, making the car run for a long time, so I think this is a new start for McLaren in many ways. It's going to take time. but I think it's the right direction for the team to go and it has a bright future - but it's going to take time."

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Magnussen had not even expected to be racing in Melbourne, having been dropped to make room for Fernando Alonso's return to the Woking fold, but an accident for the Spaniard in Barcelona led to him being ruled out of the opening round, gifting Magnussen an early return, even if it comes on precious little running.

"Obviously I didn't get as many laps as I thought I'd get," he confirmed, "Maximum, I'd hope to get 100, maybe 150, laps a day if everything runs perfectly, but I only got maybe 40 laps and all of those were low fuel. I haven't tried high fuel yet, so it will be interesting to see how that feels, but I've driven race cars before, so it's not a completely different thing. It's a different car, but it should be okay."

Asked about the chances of remaining alongside Jenson Button for round two of the championship, in Malaysia in two weeks' time, Magnussen would not be drawn, with the general expectation being that Alonso will be declared fit to return following his concussion.

"I haven't been in contact with him, only on Twitter," the youngster said of his Spanish team-mate, "He wished me good luck and I said thank-you and that's it.

"I haven't asked him how he's feeling, but I hear he's doing well so, yeah, obviously, at this race, I wish him all the best. I can't really say much more because I don't know much more. What about Malaysia? You'll have to wait, I don't know. I'm not the right person to ask...."