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Magnussen arrival 'really exciting' for McLaren

ESPN Staff
December 7, 2013 « GP2 unveils 2014 calendar | Vettel crowned by the FIA in Paris »
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McLaren's sporting director Sam Michael says the promotion of Kevin Magnussen in to a race seat is "really exciting" for the team.

Magnussen replaces Sergio Perez in 2014 for what will be his debut year in Formula One, marking the first time McLaren has given one of its seats to a rookie since Lewis Hamilton in 2007. Michael believes bringing in a driver with such potential improves the atmosphere at the team heading in to the new season.

"Kevin's arrival is really exciting for the whole team - he represents the future," Michael said. "When you have a rookie come onboard - somebody who's full of energy, who's just won his lower-category championship, and who is desperate to prove himself - it creates a buzz within the team; people share his hopes and dreams. From a team point of view, it's a fantastic move."

And Michael doesn't see Magnussen's lack of experience as being too much of a negative next year.

"Regarding youth versus experience, you could argue it both ways: in terms of learning how the tyres behave, the powertrain works, and the effect of the new aerodynamic maps, the experienced guy will have a more balanced understanding.

"But this is a brand new formula, so a rookie isn't as disadvantaged. Even if it doesn't necessarily give Kevin an advantage, the advantage of all the other drivers is diminished because everyone's starting from the same benchmark. And it's much better for Kevin to come in now than any other year."

Managing director Jonathan Neal agreed with Michael's optimism, saying that Magnussen has a "killer instinct" which the team hopes to hone.

"We're very excited about having Kevin on the team," Neale said. "We now want him to come in and work really hard at the basics: he needs to understand that coming into F1 is just the start. He's 21 - he's got a lot to learn, we want to shelter him from the inevitable ups and downs of life in motorsport but still unleash the exciting potential that he's got. You can identify that killer instinct in somebody - Kevin's very hungry, but also very controlled."

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