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Kevin Magnussen Q&A: P4 grid slot the 'icing on the cake'

15 Mar 2014

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen is already living his dream by making his F1 debut with McLaren. On Saturday in Melbourne dream turned to fairy tale as he put his MP4-29 fourth on the Albert Park grid, while veteran team mate Jenson Button failed to even make Q3…

Q: Kevin, P4 in your first qualifying session - that is pretty impressive…

Kevin Magnussen: …and I am really happy about it! There were difficult conditions - and I’ve never been on this track in the wet - so yes, really happy. (laughs) The car was fantastic and the team did an incredible job in preparing me for this over the winter. I am proud about myself, yes, but also proud about the team for doing such a good job in the preparation. But by all being thrilled I have not forgotten that the race is tomorrow, the points are tomorrow so what really matters is having a good day tomorrow.

Q: Would you dare to dream of a podium in your debut race? What can you realistically hope for?

KM: I have no idea. I will do the best that I can to maximize my own performance. Take it easy - but push. (laughs) It doesn’t make sense to set goals like ‘I have to finish in the top three or top five’. It just makes sense to go out and enjoy. Of course, ending on the podium would be amazing, but that will be difficult. When it is dry my guess is that we don’t have the pace right now - but when it is wet anything can happen. We know that, so let’s hope for ‘some’ weather.

Q: Would you have believed it if somebody had told you yesterday that you would start the race from P4 with your team mate and some other big names behind you?

KM: How could you believe something like that? So of course I am happy and definitely couldn’t have asked for more. But it is so much more than just that second row: I am in Formula One - that is what I was aiming for for years. Here I am - with the team that I was always dreaming of joining one day. P4 is just the icing on the cake.

Q: How tricky were the conditions in reality? A completely new car, your first F1 qualifying - and rain…

KM: It was the trickiest thing I’ve ever done, for sure. But it was entertaining. I usually enjoy driving in the wet - and if you have a fantastic car, what more can you ask for?

Q: How proud does it make you in your debut qualifying to outperform your experienced team mate Jenson Button?

KM: I don’t know what happened to him - but from the conditions anything could have happened. Jenson is so good on this track, so he is a good benchmark. I can learn so much from him. It is his 14th race on this track. When he did his first I was only six years old - so yes, there is a lot to learn.

Q: So how will you go into the race? Looking more to the front or more in the mirrors?

KM: Looking at myself and looking at the track. As I just said, it doesn’t make sense to set a goal for tomorrow. I am in a good position, but that might probably last only a few laps. There is so much you have to look after: fuel consumption, tyres, conditions… And there is that reliability matter that you only can hope will be in your favour. I will face many unpredictabilities in my first race so the only thing that I can really do is enjoy where I am and take it as it comes.

Q: What’s your guess as to what will be your biggest challenge?

KM: Everything will be a challenge. The good news is that the car is really good. That should be a good start into something really beautiful.