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Kevin Magnussen Q&A: McLaren cautiously optimistic

10 Oct 2014

Friday in Sochi was very encouraging for McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen - fifth in FP1 and a highly impressive second in FP2. Was the team’s pace genuine? Speaking to the media after the opening Russia sessions, Magnussen was not giving too much away, but safe to say the Dane is hoping for a strong result come Sunday…

Q: Kevin, it was a quite good afternoon for you…

Kevin Magnussen: Yes, it was pretty good and we’ve got good data for our running today. Of course it is still early in the weekend and Saturday afternoon will really show us where we stand and what the true picture is. But yes, it worked better today than I had thought.

Q: Did you do a lot of simulator work before coming here?

KM: I think everybody who had the chance to do simulator work did it, but reality is always a very different thing.

Q: What is your opinion on this track? It seems that it pretty much suits you…

KM: It is a very nice track. To be honest I had expected that we would be struggling more than we did today. But we have to be cautious and see what we are able to do tomorrow. The grip is great and the tarmac is smooth and works very well with the tyres, so it is quite enjoyable to drive here - but of course that is always the case if you do well. (laughs)

Q: What is it that makes you so quick?

KM: I am still cautious with our performance today. I doubt that today’s performance is for real. It’s just practice and probably fuel levels and these kinds of things [come into it]. And you can also do a lot with the power unit in practice. But nevertheless it felt nice to see the time sheet today! And I believe that after all we can have a good result here.

Q: Today McLaren took up the position usually occupied by Williams. Will you also be able to fight with them tomorrow?

KM: We will do anything to fight them. The car feels good and of course we will do anything to stay ahead of them in qualifying. I hope that we will manage it.

Q: You just said that the tyres work well on this tarmac. Are you surprised that they last so much longer than on many other tracks?

KM: Yes, indeed the tyres last surprisingly long here - that leaves a big window open for any kind of strategies in the race.

Q: McLaren brought updates to Suzuka. Are they are also working here?

KM: We are still sorting out what is working best and what we will put on the car and what not. All I can say is that I hope that we will find a good set-up compromise for this track that works for the straights and the most spectacular part, Turn 3.