- Australian GP - McLaren
'Brilliant' Magnussen defies his age - Boullier
Eric Boullier admits the performance of rookie Kevin Magnussen was one of the stand out highlights of the weekend for McLaren as they returned to the podium for the first time since the finale of the 2012 season.
Magnussen earned his first podium on his first F1 race, crossing the line in third place before being promoted to second in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification. At the start Magnussen nearly veered into Fernando Alonso's Ferrari but turned in a faultless display after the first lap, and Boullier is convinced there is more to come from the rookie.
"It was brilliant, to be honest," Boullier said, before Magnussen had even been promoted to second. "He didn't put a foot wrong, so we're very impressed. He handled the pressure brilliantly. He drove superbly, and he behaved with a maturity that is amazing for a young kid of 21 in his first F1 race ever. His tyres maybe cooled a bit [at the start] but it was probably just wheelspin."
While Red Bull fell foul of the new fuel-flow regulations, McLaren called Magnussen off his late chase of Ricciardo after he had seemingly gone flat out to catch the Red Bull in the closing stages. Boullier believes the early safety car period allowed McLaren to change what have been its usual approach to race strategy.
"[Fuel] is always on the limit - if we didn't have safety car laps or the second formation lap, we would just have saved more fuel [during the race]. That's it. In the first race, you want to be a little bit conservative with the fuel. You don't want to give your figures to the FIA and have used more than 100kg. There is not only fuel saving. There is not like a button you can switch off. Your energy management is helping fuel saving, so it's more complicated, more complex.
"To give him a couple of laps on full power, with all the energy on board, we had to slow down for two laps to recharge the battery faster. All the time, you are saving something - the energy, the fuel, the tyres - so, when you press the button, it resets everything"