Former McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen is unconcerned by the success of Stoffel Vandoorne in 2015 despite appearing to slip behind the Belgian driver in the team’s junior ranks.
Magnussen made his F1 debut in 2014 with McLaren in place of Sergio Perez, but was dropped after one difficult season to make way for the returning Fernando Alonso.
McLaren maintained that Magnussen was a big part of its future plans, using him as a stand-in for Alonso when he was forced to miss the Australian Grand Prix in March through injury.
However, Vandoorne – previously seen as being a ‘step behind’ Magnussen in the junior programme – has been turning heads with a string of stunning performances in GP2, claiming three wins and two second place finishes in the opening six races of the 2015 season.
Despite now being on the sidelines, Magnussen is not concerned about his future with McLaren, and believes that he can still learn plenty from the team in 2015.
“I can learn a lot from Jenson and Fernando,” Magnussen told the official F1 website. “I am in the fortunate position that I can just focus on learning and getting the most out of this situation.
“Yes I have itchy feet, but I am also very young and have a lot of time ahead. I can afford one year to do what I do now, which is learn and get a bit more experience and learn about different things I perhaps wouldn’t learn about if I was in the car.”
Magnussen was full of praise for Vandoorne, but said that he is not worried by the Belgian’s success and any pressure it may put on him.
“Stoff is doing a really good job, and he deserves to get to F1,” Magnussen said. “I think there is something wrong if he doesn’t get there.
“But everyone is a threat when you are competing for an F1 seat. I just have to focus on myself, and not really worry about anyone else because I can’t do anything about it.
“McLaren believe in me – I’ve done well in F1, been on the podium – so they know what I can do and where my potential is. I have a lot of faith in McLaren and that they will take care of my career.”