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Kevin Magnussen Q&A: McLaren ready for anything

29 Mar 2014

McLaren didn’t really make the most of the mixed conditions at Sepang on Saturday, with some ineffective tyre choices and an off for Kevin Magnussen. However, both MP4-29s will start from a top-ten grid slot and Magnussen believes they are in good shape to capitalise on whatever the Malaysian weather may throw at them in Sunday’s race…

Q: Kevin, please tell us about your eventful qualifying session where you ended up in P8.

Kevin Magnussen: After I went through the gravel my car remained a bit damaged for the rest of the session, although I am not 100 percent sure what the exact damages were. I am really sorry for this, as it was clearly my mistake and I am sure that we could have done better if the floor of the car wasn’t damaged.

It was not easy to get it right, and we should maybe have headed out with wet tyres in the beginning, but I am still learning about the conditions and about the tyres. So after all it was a good experience for me, and P8 is not too bad, but not really good either. Also Jenson (Button) will for sure come back strong, as he was on intermediates during the wet conditions, so his P10 is maybe also not where he is supposed to be. I am sure it will be an exciting race for me tomorrow.

Q: How would you describe your learning curve so far with the team?

KM: I am learning all the time, and I am learning by doing at the same time. P8 today is not really satisfying, and it is not where we want to be, but McLaren is a team that is known to be able to adapt very fast, so there is still a lot ahead of us. Even if I were more inexperienced, the team would be able to give me the right directions for these conditions.

Q: Compared to last year the car has way less downforce, although for you probably more downforce than in any other series you have been in before. What is your feeling in the car?

KM: We are going sideways a lot because of the power that you have in the car. It is quite tricky, as with so much torque you cannot go flat out. I have to say I am enjoying this a lot and having a lot of fun.

Q: What will McLaren’s outlook be for the race tomorrow, as the forecast seems to be as mixed as it was today and in the end we might end up with a thunderstorm?

KM: Mixed conditions wouldn’t actually be too bad, as I feel that the car is quite good in these conditions. The car is behaving pretty well, so let’s see what we can do. Maybe we can still find some unlocked potential. Also the temperature will play a major part in the race showing who will be strong, and who won’t. Eventually we might not have the pace to be able to win the race, but I think we can push very hard. But if it is bucketing down like this afternoon, who knows? We are ready for anything.