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McLaren excited about Magnussen 'buzz'

Sunday 08-December-2013 10:57

McLaren are confident rookie Kevin Magnussen will live up to the hype, saying he has all the attributes to become "a great driver".

The 21-year-old will make the step up to Formula One next season with McLaren opting to partner him with Jenson Button with Sergio Perez making way after just one season at Woking.

It usually is a big ask for a youngster to deliver in his first season in F1, but Lewis Hamilton proved during his debut campaign with McLaren in 2007 that anything is possible.

Managing director Jonathan Neale believes Magnussen has all the right tools to make it at the highest level in motorsport.

"During 2013, Kevin really knuckled down," Neale said. "He started to show all the attributes that, in due course, will make him a great driver. To win in the World Series, you have to be an all-rounder: you have to be able to work well with your engineers, understand the technology, and also be tenacious; be able to go through the inevitable upsets and come out on top.

"In the last few years, Kevin has shown that he has the raw pace and aggression; but, this year, he's taken control of it - he now knows when to really push and when it's better to just bring the car home. That discipline brought him a great Championship victory."

He added: "We're very excited about having Kevin on the team. We now want him to come in and work really hard at the basics: he needs to understand that coming into F1 is just the start.

"He's 21 - he's got a lot to learn, we want to shelter him from the inevitable ups and downs of life in motorsport but still unleash the exciting potential that he's got. You can identify that killer instinct in somebody - Kevin's very hungry, but also very controlled."

McLaren raised a few eyebrows by opting for the Dane, but sporting director Sam Michael says his arrival has created a buzz at Woking.

"Kevin's arrival is really exciting for the whole team - he represents the future," he said. "When you have a rookie come onboard - somebody who's full of energy, who's just won his lower-category Championship, and who is desperate to prove himself - it creates a buzz within the team; people share his hopes and dreams. From a team point of view, it's a fantastic move."

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