Kevin Magnussen has spoken about the big learning curve he has faced since entering Formula 1 at the beginning of the season.
The McLaren driver made his debut at the Australian Grand Prix, where he finished in second place after a faultless drive. However, he has failed to live up to the high expectations that followed this result, scoring just three points in the last five races.
“I think thinking back to Australia, it was a great result and a good weekend and a good memory, but if I compare where I am now to Australia, I know so much more now,” Magnussen explained. “What I’ve learned since Australia is massive, about the tires, about the car, about Formula 1 in general. I really feel that I as a driver have made progress.
“We as a team are moving forwards as well. it’s just very difficult when we are a long way behind. The progress we’re making is small compared to the gap that we have, but as long as we make progress, I think we’ll be alright.”
Magnussen’s relative inexperience was cited as a possible reason for McLaren’s recent poor form. He was thought to be unable of providing feedback that was on a par with that of veteran teammate Jenson Button, but the Dane thinks otherwise.
“Our feedback is never the same, it’s always different, which is good, because you get different inputs and different ideas,” he said. “I don’t feel like I’m holding the team back in the development of the car. I feel that I’m contributing with good feedback, and I’m saying what I feel, and what I feel is right.
“I don’t hold back and feel shy, I open my mouth and as a young kid coming to F1, you need to be brave enough to tell your opinion and open your mouth. So whether it’s right or wrong, I’ll let them pick that out, and I feel that the best way to learn is to be open and to say what it is I think.
“They understand that I have very limited experience. They tell me what they think is right and wrong, and then they listen a lot as well, which is what I’m really proud of in the team. I’m proud of the team that they listen so much to me, and that they use my feedback even though I’m so inexperienced, and it gives me confidence too to open my mouth.”
Magnussen was on track to finish higher up the order in Monaco, but a run-in with Kimi Raikkonen meant that he could only finish in 10th place.