• McLaren

Button relishing Magnussen competition

ESPN Staff
March 18, 2014 « Modern F1 not value for money, says Australian GP chief | FIA backs meter manufacturers »
Jenson Button has an exciting young rookie to contend with in 2014 © Sutton Images

Jenson Button admits the emergence of rookie team-mate Kevin Magnussen has given him even more reason to believe McLaren can return to the top step of the podium in 2014.

Magnussen and Button took second and third in Melbourne, McLaren's first podium finish since the latter won the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix. Comparisons have already been drawn between Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton, who excelled during his debut year at McLaren, but Button is not daunted by the prospect of competing against him.

"The team wouldn't have employed someone they didn't think was going to be good," Button told the Press Association. "You are always going to have a competitive team-mate, but I've never been scared of a team-mate. It's exciting to have someone that competitive. And in the first grand prix of the year, to finish second and third, to have two guys pulling their weight and getting the best out of the car, is fantastic for the team."

McLaren's finish in Melbourne left them first in the constructors' standings after one race, a remarkable turnaround for a team whose struggles last season were well documented. Button is under no illusions the team may not stay there for long but insists the opening weekend shows how far the team has come over the winter.

"I can't remember the last time a team other than Red Bull were leading the constructors' championship," said Button."Although we know it's not through outright speed, it is through a lot of good team work, and it might only be one race, but it has put a smile on our faces.

"We have upgrades for the next race, but I still don't think it will be enough to challenge them just yet. If it can put us into the gap between them and everyone else then that will be a good step forward. We just have to keep pushing the team for upgrades, but they have already got their heads down and there is some good stuff coming in the pipeline. I don't know when a win will happen, but it's what we are working towards."

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