• McLaren

MP4-29 full of surprises - Magnussen

ESPN Staff
January 30, 2014 « Red Bull problems unlikely to be fixed overnight - Ricciardo | The driving style is not that different - Alonso »
Magnussen locks up during his first day behind the wheel of the MP4-29 © Sutton Images
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Kevin Magnussen admits he had a restless night ahead of his debut in the McLaren, and that the MP4-29's reliability has already surprised the team over the opening three days in Jerez.

Magnussen took over from Jenson Button midway through the day but did not seem remotely daunted by his first test, jumping to the top of the timesheets after a 52-lap stint with a 1.23.276. The Dane will continue on Friday in high spirits after long stints for both he and his team-mate.

But the rookie has followed a common theme around the paddock that it is mileage and not time that is most important at this stage in Jerez, and admits he is glad he was able to rise to the challenge of his first day.

"I had butterflies in my stomach and struggled to sleep," he said. "I'm excited, I'm a rookie, but I'm sure everyone was, it's new cars, a new season, and a massive opportunity for me. This day was big for me as my first test as a racing driver.

"I'm not really looking into the lap times. I'm very happy we did [go top], but especially happy with the laps we got in, and how many Jenson got in. I think the reliability of the car has been much better than we thought it would be, hopefully it will continue. It might not but we will continue learning and building the idea of where to go from here.

"At the moment mileage is more important than the speed for sure. We need to build up an idea of where the problems would be and so far I've been very happy with everything."

Magnussen admits advice from his father, Jan, who drove for McLaren at the 1997 Pacific Grand Prix, possibly played a part in his impressive pace.

"He once said 'either go full throttle, or no throttle', which is a good one," said Magnussen Jnr. "It wasn't balls-to-the-walls laps but we were pushing; we're trying to get good data and I'm trying to learn about the car so everyone is pushing, but there are so many different things that can play a part in what lap times you are doing."

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