Both suffered clutch problems during the third round of the 2014 season. It was the first race that McLaren had failed to get at least one car to the chequered flag since the 2006 United States Grand Prix. The last time the Woking-based outfit failed to score a point was at the 2013 British Grand Prix.
“After a disappointing race in Bahrain, I think we head to China with a bit of a point to prove – we need to get some points on the board, and get another race under our belts that demonstrates the pace that we feel this year’s car has,” said the 34-year-old.
“That won’t necessarily be straightforward – Bahrain showed that, the top two cars aside, the racing this year is fast, fraught and very evenly matched. The margins are so slim that it’ll require us to get everything right: a focused practice, problem-free qualifying sessions and a clean race to try and establish ourselves at the forefront of that chasing pack.
He added: “While it’s not necessarily a track that perfectly suits our package, I think we can pull everything together and have a stronger weekend.”
Magnussen felt he didn’t get the maximum from himself or the car in Bahrain. Looking ahead to this weekend, he believes it is still too early to see the competitive order of the incredibly close midfield, adding: “Our aim this weekend will be to try and consolidate our position at the forefront of that chasing pack.”
Racing director Eric Boullier was encouraged by the speed of the MP4-29 at the last race and is optimistic that the team can make further steps forward in China as it continues to “aggressively develop” its 2014 car.
He added: “The Bahrain race was rightly acclaimed as a thriller, and I think we have all the ingredients in place for another exciting contest in China this weekend.”
Image courtesy of McLaren Mercedes