Kevin Magnussen believes he can emulate Lewis Hamilton’s rookie success in his first season at McLaren in 2014. The Danish driver was announced at the Woking-based outfit last November, replacing Force India-bound Sergio Perez.
Hamilton burst onto the scene in 2007 and immediately made an impression. He finished third on his debut and won his first race in Canada a few months later. By the seasons end, he missed out on the title by just one point.
Despite having considerably less testing mileage under his belt, Magnussen believes he can impress in 2014. “He [Hamilton] had great success at McLaren arriving there as a rookie and it is definitely possible to do,” he told AUTOSPORT.
“I know he worked incredibly hard, and the good thing is that I am in the same team as he was. They [McLaren] have had a rookie before; they know how to treat a rookie and how to work with a rookie. That is good, a really good thing.”
The 22-year-old won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship in 2013 after registering five race wins and eight further podium finishes. F1 testing is limited for young drivers, but he feels they are bettered prepared now as they start racing at a younger age. “My generation of drivers have all started very early,” he said. “The previous generation of drivers started a bit later.
“So if you take a driver at 19 from my generation, he will be better prepared at 19 than a driver was from the previous generation because we have started earlier.
“I am not saying that I am 100 per cent ready for F1. You will always feel like you can do more, and you need a little bit more time.”
He said last month that he believes the 2014 regulation changes will make his rookie season easier, as it will be a new challenge for everyone on the grid.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic