Kevin Magnussen says he is playing catch-up but is confident he has the support from Renault to be completely prepared for the first pre-season test ahead of the 2016 Formula 1 season.
The Danish driver has made a last-minute switch into an F1 race seat at Renault after replacing Pastor Maldonado who lost his place after the Venezuelan's primary sponsor – the state-funded PDVSA oil company – had reneged on financial terms agreed when he was first confirmed with the team under its Lotus guise in September 2015.
Having only agreed a deal with Renault in the past few weeks Magnussen is aware of how much work will be needed to familiarise himself with a new team and a new car but wants to enjoy his preparations for the first pre-season test in Barcelona on 22nd February knowing he is back in Formula 1 this season.
“I've been in Enstone and been shown around the workshop and it is a proper race team, there is no messing around, pure racing,” Magnussen said. “I'm going to be in Enstone as much as I can with the engineers and be in the simulators. I'll work as hard as I can to catch up in the next three weeks before the tests. I am confident this team will give me exactly what I need with support and help.
“This is a new team so we are going to be learning a lot. We have to stay humble and realistic and work extremely hard. I'm going to go into the first race and really enjoy it and enjoy being back in a proper race car with a proper Formula 1 team.”
The Danish 23-year-old has spent the past three years within the F1 fold at McLaren after impressing at the Abu Dhabi young driver test in November 2012. After clinching the Formula Renault 3.5 Series title in 2013 Magnussen graduated into a rookie F1 campaign, claiming a maiden rostrum on his debut in Australia, but was subsequently dropped to third and reserve driver in favour of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in 2015.
After losing his place at McLaren Magnussen moves from Woking to Enstone and despite insisting he has no hard feelings against his former employers the Dane says he is relishing a fresh challenge to prove his worth in the sport.
“I'm not really bothered about them [McLaren], I don't care. Whoever we can beat we will beat,” he said. “There is definitely a big difference. I was in Woking and had everything sorted but this time around it is a bit different and I have some catching up to do.
“Physically I am better than I have ever been because I have had time to train, when in 2014 I was busy driving and at PR events. There will be a lot of learning to do as it is a new car and a new team.."