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McLaren: Monaco points just the first step

28 May 2015

McLaren are refusing to get carried away by their improved competitiveness and points breakthrough on the streets of Monte Carlo, according to test and reserve driver Kevin Magnussen.

After a disappointing showing in Spain, Jenson Button ended the team's hunt for the first points of their new alliance with Honda by finishing eighth in the Principality. Fernando Alonso was also on course to score points, only to hit technical issues at two-thirds distance.

Magnussen said the team could be ‘proud' of the breakthrough, but added: "It is nice to get points - it doesn't look good not having any. So it is a good achievement. But there is still a long way [to go].

"It is one step on the way to what we are striving for - dominating Formula One again. So I think we should be fairly proud of what we achieved so far, and then strive for more. 

"I believe in the team, I believe we can achieve our aim. But it will take time and we need to be patient."

Magnussen also stressed that the team's new aero philosophy is paying dividends, saying: "Last year's car, and the cars before that, have been fast but a little bit difficult and on the edge. 

"Having a more consistent car and aero is good for a driver because it means there is not so much a fine line. It means we can have more confidence in the car and push it more to the limit.

"It is not finished yet, not where we want to be, but it is a good direction."

Despite losing his race seat for the 2015 campaign, Magnussen said he can still develop as a driver while watching on the sidelines - and insisted he has absolute faith in McLaren to look after his career, even though they also have current GP2 championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne on their roster.

"I can learn a lot from Jenson and Fernando," Magnussen explained, "so I am in the fortunate position that I can just focus on learning and getting the most out of this situation.

"Yes I have itchy feet, but I am also very young and have a lot of time ahead; so I can afford one year to do what I do now, which is learn and get a bit more experience and learn about different things I perhaps wouldn't learn about if I was in the car.

"Stoff [Vandoorne] is doing a really good job, and he deserves to get to F1 - I think there is something wrong if he doesn't get there. But everyone is a threat when you are competing for an F1 seat. I just have to focus on myself, and not really worry about anyone else because I can't do anything about it. McLaren believe in me - I've done well in F1, been on the podium - so they know what I can do and where my potential is. I have a lot of faith in McLaren and that they will take care of my career."