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Kevin Magnussen Q&A: Rookie season scores a six or seven

07 Nov 2014

With two races to go in his maiden F1 campaign, Kevin Magnussen still doesn’t know whether he’ll retain his McLaren drive for 2015, despite a podium finish and another 10 point-scoring results. This weekend’s Sao Paulo round is his penultimate chance to impress, but the Dane insists the speculation over his future will not be a distraction…

Q: Kevin, more than the race this weekend, the question about your future with only two races to go is what really puzzles. Is there anything new to report? Will we see you in a McLaren next year?

Kevin Magnussen: I hope so. Nothing is finalized yet and waiting is the only thing you can do.

Q: So you are basically waiting on the decision to be made by McLaren?

KM: Yes, because there is not much I can do. I am assuming that I will be here next year. It’s been a long time since I’ve known anything, but it will happen sooner or later.

Q: Of course you want to impress, but how difficult is it to show that you have the potential to be a race winner when it’s not in the car?

KM: Ha, that is very difficult. I think I’ve done my best. I’ve improved a lot and I have shown to the team that if I have a car that has the potential to win, then I am right there. So let’s hope that I am here next year.

Q: Would you be comfortable racing alongside whoever it might be: Jenson (Button) or Fernando Alonso - or any other big name?

KM: Yes, of course.

Q: How would it feel to be the team mate of Fernando Alonso?

KM: I will be glad to be in a McLaren in 2015. I would not mind whoever sits in the other cockpit, but I also made it clear throughout the season that I am happy that Jenson is my team mate. It was fantastic having him as team mate this year - my rookie year - and it would be fantastic to continue with him. But, of course, this is not my call.

Q: Could you stand tall against a Fernando Alonso?

KM: It would be good if I could beat anyone - whatever his name is. But right now I have to put these thoughts aside and do my best, as it is an important time to do well. That’s what I am concentrating on.

Q: Do you see a reason why there is a delay right now in announcing McLaren’s driver line-up for 2015?

KM: Yes, I do. But that’s an internal matter. One thing I can say is they are trying to sort out things and are not trying to be annoying. So I am convinced that as soon as they know they will let me know.

Q: When you look back at Austin…

KM: …I can say that we got the best out of the car and scored some points. With the safety car at the beginning of the race we pitted very early from the option to the prime tyres and made the primes last really long. We did well to keep them alive. Jenson is very good at that so if you manage to go longer than him… that was really good for me. In that respect it was a good race.

Q: There are two more races to go in your rookie season. What mark would you give yourself out of 10?

KM: That is really difficult to say. Maybe a six or a seven? But these school games do not occupy too much of my mind. It’s not been a bad season - but neither has it been a fantastic one, especially for a team like McLaren. It’s been a good season for me and what I’ve learned, but I am sure that better times will come for McLaren again.

Q: And what mark for today’s running?

KM: It was difficult today. We’ve been lacking a lot of top speed and now we have to look into why this is so.

Q: What about the tyres? It was pretty hot today and some have argued that these aren’t the right compounds for these conditions. With the same conditions on Sunday, would there be any issues?

KM: That would mean quite some degradation. But then it’s the same for everyone. So that is not our main concern.

Q: If the weathermen get it right we will see a wet qualifying tomorrow. How will that go for you?

KM: Difficult to say. It is always a mix-up when it is wet so let’s wait and see. My prediction is that if it stays dry we have the chance to make some improvements, find some more pace and to make it into the top ten.

Q: How difficult is it to keep a cool head with all the speculation about your future?

KM: That doesn’t make any difference. When the helmet is on and the visor down it’s all about racing.