• Australian GP - McLaren

A podium won't be easy - Magnussen

ESPN Staff
March 15, 2014 « Software glitch accounts for Vettel's pace | Race finish still possible - Maldonado »
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Kevin Magnussen says a podium will not be easy at his first race, despite starting Sunday's Australian Grand Prix from fourth on the grid.

Magnussen impressed with a measured performance in wet condition on Saturday to line up on the second row of the grid ahead of world champions Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and team-mate Jenson Button. However, he was keen not to get ahead of himself when asked about his chances in the race.

"The race is tomorrow, and so are the points - so we need a good Sunday," he said. "I'll try to enjoy tomorrow and do the best I can - getting onto the podium won't be easy, especially if it's dry. But if it's wet, anything could happen - so I guess a wet grand prix is what I'll be hoping for.

"I'm really happy. Those were difficult conditions, especially as I've never driven this track in the wet - it was quite tricky to get the lines and the braking points right. It was much trickier than anything I've ever done!"

Magnussen said he felt he could have gone even quicker on his final lap.

"I made a mistake and went off on my last lap, so I might have been able to go quicker, but I'm still happy. The car was really good, and the team did a fantastic job of preparing me for this. I'm proud of myself, but also proud of the whole team for doing such a massively good job of preparing me over the winter. I always knew what was going on, and I knew the procedures, so it's clear that they taught me really well."

Button put his disappointing 10th-place grid position down to the timing of a yellow flag to clear Kimi Raikkonen's car at the end of Q2.

"The rain this afternoon was initially good for me - I got the tyres in pretty good shape for my lap, and I was pleased with my first run in Q2. The car felt pretty good, too - I was quickest when I did my lap, and I was in the top 10 until the end. But, unfortunately, I didn't get my final run on new tyres in because I was caught out by the yellow flags in Turn Three.

"In the wet conditions, I think we had a very good chance of qualifying closer to the front, because our car isn't quite so quick in the dry. Not getting into the top 10 was sheer bad luck - but, hopefully, I won't be so unlucky tomorrow. I love this place, the car is working well, and, but for the yellow flags, we could have qualified much better than we did.

"Hopefully we'll be quick in the race - there's one team that's clear of the rest, but I think we can fight the others."

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