Kevin Magnussen may have been one of five drivers who failed to take the start of the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday, but the Dane refuses to be negative about his truncated weekend.

Called into the McLaren line-up to cover for the injured Fernando Alonso, Magnussen would have hoped for longer involvement on raceday, but was left a spectator before even taking to the grid, where he would have lined up 17th and last after the two Manor cars failed to qualifying and Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire hurt overnight. The Dane remains in the dark as to the exact nature of the engine problem that sidelined him, but insists that any information gleaned can only help Honda improve its powerplant for the future.

"We had low expectations for this race so I think that, even though I didn't start the race, the problem we had is going to be something we can learn from," he maintained, "The positive is that the other car finished the race, and there's going to be lot of learning and that's really what we came to do. Even on my car, with the problem I had, there's going to be a lot of learning. We don't know what it is yet but, whatever it is, there is going to be learning from it.

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"Yes, it's frustrating for me - I enjoy driving race cars, so it's frustrating not to do that - but it wasn't like we were missing out on a podium or anything like that. Yes, it's disappointing, but we have to keep our heads high and believe that, if we do everything we can and work as hard as we can, then we'll get there some day."

Magnussen was unable to confirm whether his engine was now lost for the season - 'the car stopped and there was smoke, but I don't know what actually happened' he explained - but remained in the McLaren garage to follow team-mate Jenson Button's progress, which resulted in eleventh place but with by far the most miles put on the new Honda engine to date.

"It's quite positive that the other car finished the race and I must say that, although it is not normal for McLaren, it was a little victory in itself," explained the Dane, who has said he is ready to stand in for Alonso at Sepang if necessary.