F1: McLaren race director impressed with Magnussen despite penalties

Kevin Magnussen currently sits 12th in the Formula One driver standings, despite a second-place finish in Australia.

Steven Tee

McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier says he’s been happy to see Kevin Magnussen fighting with some big names in recent races, despite the time penalties that the Dane earned in both Spa and Monza.

Magnussen was penalized while defending from Fernando Alonso in Belgium, and Valtteri Bottas in Italy, but he impressed with his gutsy performances.

“It’s clear that he’s stepping up,” said Boullier. “He’s maybe punching above his weight, because obviously he doesn’t have the car to be fast enough and chase better results, but he’s trying his best. I think it’s good for him and good for the fans as well, good for the show I think, to see this young kid, and this young Viking, if I may say this, fighting with the big boys. And obviously it means his self confidence is massively growing, and it’s good for his racecraft, which is going to be only better and better.”

Regarding the twin penalties he said: “I think the Spa penalty was deserved to be honest, and I believe not the one Monza. He was unfortunate to be penalized, but we believe it was obviously just a normal move and a legitimate defence. I don’t think he will have to change his approach. I think Spa was a one-off, and Monza for us was unfortunate, let’s say. I think he needs to keep building his confidence by doing what he’s doing.”