Magnussen: “This was a big day for me”

Magnussen: “This was a big day for me”

Kevin Magnussen made his debut as an official Formula 1 race driver on the third day of winter testing at Jerez, lapping the Spanish circuit 52 times in the new McLaren MP4-29.0887CB1D1047

Due to his more experienced team-mate losing a full day of track time on Tuesday, McLaren changed their Thursday schedule. Button completed running in the morning before handing the Mercedes-powered machine over to Magnussen for the afternoon session, where he eventually set the fastest time of the day.

The 21-year-old admits that it was an exciting day for him, as he tested the car that he will drive in his rookie season for the first time. “This was a big day for me,” he said. “I had butterflies in my stomach and had trouble sleeping last night – I’m a rookie, and I was just excited to get in the car. Equally, however, this doesn’t feel like my first day at work: I know everybody at McLaren, so I really felt at home.”

Commenting on his days’ work, he added: “Happily, everything worked as it should, and the car felt good. I’m pretty pleased with our reliability – to have done as many laps as I did in just half a day was pretty positive.

“I’m not taking too much from the fact that I set the fastest time – I was pushing, but it wasn’t a balls-to-the-wall lap. We wanted to get good data and learn about the car, so I think everyone is pushing out there.

“Even so, I still think we can improve the car this week. And the most important thing is to understand how to improve things when we go away from here. I think we have a good idea of the direction to take.”

The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 champion will have the MP4-29 all to himself on Friday, as the first winter test comes to a close.

Image courtesy of Octane Photographic

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie

Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport and Formula 1 journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his F1 paddock debut for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle, RumbleStripNews, Formula1Blog, PureF1 and F1 Plus, as well as running a popular blog.