Magnussen: I am a big fan of McLaren but I fit in better at Renault
Kevin Magnussen appears a happier man in 2016, in the wake of his ill-fated McLaren adventure and return to Formula 1 with the revitalised Renault works effort.
“I can feel that he fits in really well in this team,” his mother Britt said in the Renault motor home in Barcelona. “It’s as if the good old Kevin is back.”
Indeed, Magnussen admits to struggling in the last couple of years, following the high pressure of his 2014 debut at McLaren, his replacement by Fernando Alonso last year, and his unceremonious ousting late in the season.
Kevin confirmed to BT newspaper: “I’ve always been a big fan of McLaren, but I fit in better at Renault. It is also that McLaren is a big team on the way down, while Renault is coming up and it’s a great atmosphere.”
According to another Danish newspaper, Ekstra Bladet, he continued: “It was hard to be a new driver at a team [McLaren] with a lot of expectations and a lot of pressure. It’s something else to be with a team that you feel is coming up.”
“You can feel there is more money and it’s being built up with more people rather than less and less money,” Magnussen explained. “It goes in a different direction here than at McLaren and it’s very motivating,” he added.
Continuing to contrast Renault with McLaren, he said: “Renault and Enstone are better at finding problems.”
“McLaren was really good at solving problems – Renault is as well – but I think McLaren sometimes had a hard time finding them. When they did, they were solved quickly.”
Finally, Magnussen predicted that Renault will make rapid progress this year and beyond, despite the fact it might struggle initially on the cusp of the points.
“We need to improve in many areas,” he told the Danish broadcaster TV2, “but until now the team has not had the money to develop. Everything should be up and running again now, and then we will catch up.”