MELBOURNE, March 16th, 2014 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) Formula One debutant Kevin Magnussen has impressed in his career’s first race by finishing on the final step of the podium in Melbourne on Sunday.
Magnussen has already achieved a higher finish after one race than the man he replaced at McLaren Mercedes, Sergio Perez, could for the entire 2013 season. The result highlights the team’s desperation to return to former glory.
“I know the team is massively motivated to stay on top and they are a team that should be at the top of Formula One.”
“It’s not a win but it definitely feels a bit like a win because, as you said, the team is coming off a difficult season and they really wanted to come back and they’ve worked so hard over the winter.”
Nonetheless, the result exceeded expectation for Magnussen who was impressed by the cars pace during the race.
“The car was so much better than it’s been at any point [of this year]. We just keep improving the car. I had just exactly what I needed the whole race.”
“It’s hard to believe really. It just seems so unreal.”
During periods of the race it appeared Magnussen would finish in second position as he hunted down Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Despite entering the DRS zone on a number of occasions, the Dane was unable to create an over-taking manoeuvre on the Australian.
“I think me and Dan had pretty similar pace but obviously you can do stuff with the engine to try and push for a few laps and then you have to back off because you have to harvest the energy again."
“I didn’t have enough pace to get past Dan.”
Claiming a podium position in his first Grand Prix whilst piloting an improving McLaren car has Magnussen understandably buoyed heading into round two of the season.
“I think what Mercedes and McLaren have done together is amazing and I’m really looking forward to what’s coming ahead.”
Formula One now heads to Sepang for the Malaysian Grand Prix on 30th of March.