The 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 champion had just three days of experience driving Formula 1 machinery under his belt prior to winter testing for the 2014 season. The former Lotus team principal has been impressed by his progress over the pre-season test period, particularly due to the demands of the new technical regulations.
“He is doing well,” Boullier told AUTOSPORT. “It’s a different story from drivers in the past who had lots of miles under their belts. For a young driver who did only a couple of days in an F1 car, he is very impressive.
“He is consistent and obviously you have the usual problems with tyre management for a kid like him because they are used to a different world where they could push through the race. Here, you have to be a bit more careful with the tyres if you want them to last long enough during your stint. That is what he has to learn, but he is doing very well.”
The Frenchman says Magnussen “is already very at home” at McLaren, adding: “He is still a bit shy maybe in terms of expressing his feedback, but it’s going right. There are many [technical] parameters and he is doing it cleverly, not going too much into details now because he doesn’t want to get lost in aero strategy or tyre management.”
Boullier has also been impressed by Jenson Button’s work with the team during winter testing. “I didn’t know him too well, but he’s a very established leading driver, which is very good for the team,” he said. “They have somebody who can take decisions, give good feedback and tell them exactly what he needs. That’s good.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic