The penultimate day of winter testing was also Magnussen’s last in the McLaren MP4-29 before he takes to the Albert Park Circuit in Melbourne for the first F1 race weekend of his career. He completed 88 laps and set the fourth fastest time.
His morning session was briefly disrupted by an electrical problem but he managed to return to the track before the scheduled lunch break. In the afternoon, he went through a race weekend simulation which included some fast qualifying laps on the soft tyre and a race run.
“We had some electrical problems in the morning, but sorted them pretty quickly, and complete most of today’s run-programme,” explained the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 champion. “Today’s laptimes from both Williams and Mercedes look very quick, but I don’t think any of the teams have been running to identical programmes, so it’s still hard to say.
“As a team, we’re not quite there yet, but we have more to come. Our car feels like it has potential – unlike last year’s car, where you could feel its problems when you were driving. This year, it feels like an F1 car.”
Discussing preparation for his first F1 race, he added: “You always feel like you can do more – if we had more time, we wouldn’t stop. But, from a driving perspective, I think I’ve got all the basics covered in order to go out there and do a race. I don’t feel uncomfortable going into a grand prix now – I feel that I know all the procedures, I know what’s important, and I know what to focus on in a race weekend. And that’s really positive.
“It’s a very special feeling knowing that the next time I get in the car, it’ll be in Australia. I’ve got a big job ahead of me, but I’m pretty excited. I feel ready.”
Image courtesy of McLaren Mercedes