McLaren racing director Eric Boullier says that Kevin Magnussen’s recent struggles are par for the course for a rookie driver – especially one with an underperforming car.
“Obviously, it’s a completely normal process for a young rookie driver who is stepping into F1 with a difficult car to drive,” the Frenchman said on Wednesday. “It reminds me of my experience with (Romain) Grosjean and (Vitaly) Petrov. They went through the same processes, and it’s part of, let’s say, the learning curve, unfortunately.
“They need experience, they need to be able to understand the car. An F1 car setup-wise is much more complicated than the junior categories. So it’s just part of the learning process. He’s not helped by the fact that he has a car which is difficult to drive today.”
Meanwhile, Boullier says that the team’s form should take an upturn in the coming races.
“In Spain we will see an interesting upgrade on the car,” he said. “Everything is planned until Silverstone – every race we will see a different upgrade, a different package. The good thing, as I’ve said, is we have picked up a very, very good rate of development in the wind tunnel, and then it’s just up to us to manufacture the parts and bring them on track.”
With regard to McLaren’s chances of winning a race in 2014, Boullier added: “Obviously, we have to believe that we will win a race. If you look at it in detail, it obviously looks like we are stepping back since the beginning of the season. It’s true that Australia was a bit opportunistic, but we also prepared ourselves to be ready to pick up points and even podiums from the others.
“I’ve made it clear that a lack of downforce is hurting us when you have very hot temperature conditions, or very cold, like we had in China. There is a technical reason for that. I think what’s going on in Woking is very positive, and we will be able to keep pushing and bringing, let’s say, very aggressive and strong development over the course of the season. I think we will put ourselves in a position, maybe not in the first part of the season but maybe later, to fight for a win.”Formula 1, Kevin Magnussen, McLaren F1