• McLaren

Magnussen 'not at Hamilton's level yet' - Boullier

ESPN Staff
March 19, 2014 « Losing 2014 titles would be 'failure' - Wolff | Mercedes can be caught - Renault »
Eric Boullier believes Kevin Magnussen showed great maturity on his debut on Sunday © Getty Images

Eric Boullier insists McLaren is not getting carried away with what Kevin Magnussen can achieve this year despite finishing second on his debut in Melbourne.

Magnussen crossed the line in third but was promoted to second in the wake of Daniel Ricciardo's disqualification, meaning he went one better than Lewis Hamilton on his own impressive McLaren debut in 2007. But despite some broadcasters making comparisons after the race with Hamilton's debut year, Boullier believes there is still plenty of room for improvement to come from both Magnussen and the team before the rookie can challenge for a maiden win.

"Definitely not," Boullier said when asked by ESPN if McLaren has re-evaluated its expectations for Magnussen. "You cannot base all your expectations on one race. First of all the biggest difference between Lewis and Kevin is that Lewis went through a lot of testing with McLaren before joining, and it was a different time and a different era. This weekend Kevin did a brilliant job, but benefited from a few abandons and the decision of the FIA stewards, but he did a very good job. He was mature enough to build over the weekend, and obviously he had a strong drive in qualifying and the race. But there is no expectation other than trying to build him up and helping him develop the potential he has so that he can win when we have a car that can win."

While refusing to make a comment on Ricciardo's retirement, Boullier confesses the team also raised issues regarding the FIA's fuel-flow sensor, but that it had made a point of sticking within the rules throughout the opening weekend.

"It's clear that this was raised in the winter that there were maybe some accuracy issues between the two sensors. We have been working closely with the FIA since early January to understand and improve the system. All the teams are currently working together. In the end the FIA took a position at the second test that their fuel sensor would be the reference and it had to be used. We knew we had to be careful with the fuel flow. We have been fully compliant during the race and for the whole weekend so have most of teams. We do our job to be within the regulations. This is a matter between the Red Bull and the FIA and we don't want to comment."

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