Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen wowed the Formula One establishment last week at Jerez when he set the fastest time over the four days of testing.
But Magnussen, who already admitted in December he was taking a measured approach to his first season in F1, still admits he has a lot to learn. And he takes confidence from the fact his teammate Jenson Button says he does, too.
“One of the things Jenson (Button) has told me is that he never stops learning,” Magnussen said in a Q&A with F1’s official website. “He’s driven nearly 250 Grands Prix, so it’s quite inspiring to hear him say that. I can definitely learn from Jenson, and, like him, I hope to keep learning.”
Even after the test last week, Magnussen said the feeling of driving for McLaren hadn’t sunk in yet.
“When I got into the car for the first time at Jerez last Thursday, in fact, it still felt a bit strange,” he said. “But I’m a firm believer that there are no guarantees in this world, so I’m now focusing on the work I need to do to justify the privilege of being a Formula One driver.”
He also added lap count, rather than lap times, is more important during the winter in the run-up to the Australian Grand Prix.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.