Palmer: Magnussen has a point to prove


Jolyon Palmer believes Kevin Magnussen will be fired up this season as he wants to “show McLaren why he shouldn’t have been dropped.”

After just one year of racing for McLaren, Magnussen was dropped down to a test driver role to make way for Fernando Alonso.

His troubles, though, didn’t stop there.

Months later McLaren opted not to renew his contract leaving the Dane out in the cold.

Renault came to the rescue, signing Magnussen as Palmer’s 2016 team-mate after Pastor Maldonado’s sponsors failed to deliver.

Looking ahead to the 2016 season, Palmer reckons his new team-mate has a point to prove.

“He’s a good driver who has proven what he can do in F1 already,” the Brit told Autosport.

“If they were struggling to decide who should stay between Kevin and Jenson [Button] then that says something about him.

“I’m sure he’s now going to be unbelievably motivated to do a good job and show McLaren why he shouldn’t have been dropped.”

And although he concedes Magnussen may have the advantage in their inter-team battle due to his year of racing in 2014, Palmer believes his experience with the team will balance the scales.

He added: “When you are in F1 any driver that is your team-mate is a challenge because they are the best drivers in the world.

“I can’t really kid myself it was going to be any other way. You look down the grid and you have to be at the top of your game.

“He maybe has the advantage with a year’s race experience, but I know the team well, I travelled with them all last year, I drove last year’s car and managed to get a fair amount of mileage.

“We’re both drivers that had a year out last year, so it’s whatever you want to make of it, but I feel we’re reasonably even.”