New McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen aims to emulate the success of Lewis Hamilton in his debut season. The Danish driver, who will replace Sergio Perez next year, believes that the success that the British driver had in his first year as a McLaren driver is a positive thing.
McLaren has taken a surprising risk for the 2014 season and chosen rookie Magnussen as a driver. The Woking-based team famously gave rookie Hamilton a seat in 2007 alongside double world champion, Fernando Alonso.
In that year, Hamilton scored the same number of points as his team mate, won four races and almost won the championship.
"The fact Lewis did what I'm doing now is a positive for me. It shows the team has been there before," Magnussen told reporters.
"They have already prepared a rookie for his grand prix debut. The fact that Lewis was so successful doesn't raise the pressure for me, it just shows that it can be done, and that you can be successful as a rookie. That's really encouraging.”
McLaren, who chose to drop Sergio Perez after a lacklustre single season with the team, will partner Magnussen with current driver, Jenson Button. The team aim to return to the front of the field next year, after their worse season in Formula 1 since 1980.
Magnussen will be following in the footsteps of his father, Jan Magnussen, who also made his F1 debut for McLaren in 1995, before driving for the Stewart team.
The young Dane said after being confirmed for McLaren:
“I'm absolutely overjoyed to be making my Formula 1 debut with McLaren," he commented. "I'll put it simply: this team is the best. It's been my dream to drive for McLaren ever since I was a small kid, and it's no exaggeration to say that I've dedicated almost every day of my life to achieving the goal of becoming a McLaren Formula 1 driver.”
Magnussen believes that the change in the regulations will be a huge help for him and will aid in him being able to get up to speed quickly. This is because all drivers will have to learn how to drive the new cars.
"The fact that I won't have as much experience as some of the other drivers actually counts a little bit less - of course, it's still going to require a lot of hard work - and I'll have a lot to learn - but so will everyone else, so that's a positive for me."
If Kevin Magnussen is as fast as McLaren believe he is, and his results in the lower categories go some way to support this, then perhaps his signing isn’t such a risk as many believe it is.
After a dismal 2013, McLaren should take a risk for next year. This appears to be the best time to bring Magnussen into the team. He will be able to learn a lot from Button, and will have the benefit of new rules to level the playing field.
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