Kevin Magnussen believes Renault has the capability of fighting for points in the 2016 season opener at Melbourne and hopes he and team-mate Jolyon Palmer can be the difference in a tight midfield battle.
The Renault F1 driver has now effectively completed three-quarters of his pre-season testing and has just one day remaining in the RS16 before handing it back over to team-mate Jolyon Palmer.
The Danish driver has completed a marathon amount of kilometres, notching up another 119 laps today, as he ended the day tenth overall having focused on race simulation and longer stints.
After establishing a positive base setting and understanding the potential of the new car, Magnussen feels the reformed squad has the potential to aim for point-scoring finishes in Australia.
“I think we are just around the points, maybe just outside,” Magnussen said. “I think if we can get points from Melbourne I think that is a good weekend.”
Despite explaining that no-one has a full picture on how the grid order will fall in Australia with teams not revealing their full potentials and running different strategies, Magnussen is loosely predicting a tight midfield battle and is keen to be the difference in a race situation.
“We are running different tyres, some are on mediums and some are on softs, so it is difficult really to say where we are yet,” he explained “But it does look quite tight around the midfield and quite close. Hopefully it will be really close and we can make a difference.”
Magnussen says Renault may test out a new front wing in Barcelona but he is unlikely to run with it tomorrow in his final day in the car. Despite this, the Renault driver is confident he has the package ready to fight in Australia as he returns to the scene of 'his best and worst races in F1'.
“There will be a couple of things and we have many things to try in the next three days,” he said. “Nothing too big. We have a new front wing coming to try out hopefully at the end of the week with Jolyon so we'll see how that works. Nothing too big for the first race.”