- First Bahrain Test - Day Two
V6 turbo is more of a drivers' car - Magnussen
McLaren's Kevin Magnussen believes driver talent will shine through a lot more in the latest generation of Formula One cars than it ever did in the V8 era.
This year downforce has been stripped from the cars and the drivers have significantly more torque to deal with from the new V6 turbo engines. Magnussen, who was quickest on the second day of testing in Bahrain, believes drivers will play a bigger part in registering quick laps this year.
"It really is a drivers' car; more than the old ones," he said. "With the blown diffuser [on the old cars] it became a little bit easy and on new tyres you were very much relying on the car and the set-up and the balance. This year it's more of a drivers' car and I think that's great.
"I think [you can make] more [of a difference] than last year. It's still going to be impossible to win in a car that's not able to win, but it's Formula One and it's man and machine and the drivers can make a bigger difference. It's a bit more difficult with more torque but I think that's quite obvious. With more torque it's going to be more tricky and you need more skill and sensitivity with the throttle."
On Thursday Magnussen lapped 2.6s shy of the pole position time in Bahrain last year, but believes there is more to come from the new McLaren.
"I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I think we'll go quicker than that and it's possible to go quicker than that. It won't take too long for this year's cars to quicker than the old ones. From now until Australia we will hopefully improve the car. We are in a good place but we still need to work very hard. But it's not looking too bad."