McLaren’s difficult 2014 campaign continued at the Austrian Grand Prix yesterday as Kevin Magnussen brought home the team’s only points in seventh place.
The Danish driver had qualified sixth, but simply did not have the pace to move up the field and fight for the bigger points. Instead, he was forced to settle for P7 come the checkered flag after being passed by Sergio Perez late on.
“I really thought we were going to finish sixth today, but Checo just had too much pace at the end of the race,” Magnussen explained after the race. “That wasn’t great, but it’s positive that we’re making improvements.
“We’ve made progress this weekend, but we still need to keep pushing: we still need to find good, efficient downforce.”
Despite the result, the rookie believes that he could not have done anything more in the race.
“Still, I think we got everything out of our package this weekend. It’s tough racing in the midfield pack, like we did today, but we’re going to get there.
“It’s maybe difficult to see it from the outside, but, believe me, we’re making improvements all the time.”
Jenson Button was less fortunate, crossing the line in 11th place. After qualifying down in 12th, he failed to make his reverse strategy work and missed out to Kimi Raikkonen at the line.
“I’d hoped we could make up some places today, but it’s never easy to overtake around here,” he explained. “We went for a different strategy – starting on primes – but it didn’t really work for us. I’m now really looking forward to Silverstone.”
The poor result, combined with Williams’ charge to third and fourth place at the Red Bull Ring, means that McLaren drops to sixth place in the constructors’, and is now the lowest ranked team to be powered by Mercedes.